Gorgeous Garlic Scapes

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Savoring Swirling Scapes

A generous friend (thanks, Rick!) gifted me with one of early summer’s tenderest treats; a bagful of curly, tender-crisp garlic scapes. These slim, whippy stems are harvested before they bloom, so that the garlic bulbs will continue to ripen without expending energy on producing flowers and seeds. The bulb quality is always better if the scapes are removed before the blossoms open, though if a few escape your notice, a host of pollinators will be thrilled to visit the fragrant florets, a sweet reminder that garlic, onions, and their kin are members of the lily family.

Mushroom & Garlic Scape Salad

1/4 cup fruity olive oil or avocado oil
1 large lime, juiced, rind grated
1 cup finely chopped garlic scapes
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of smoked paprika
12 spears asparagus, thinly sliced diagonally
2 cups stemmed, thinly sliced brown field mushrooms
1/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

In a serving bowl, whisk oil with lime zest and juice and add salt and smoked paprika to taste. Add asparagus and mushrooms, toss gently to coat and let stand for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour. Before serving, toss with goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds. Serves 4 (or at least one).

A Savory Summer Frittata

This Umbrian specialty was one of the first recipes I learned from Signora Savino, my kitchen mentor during my student days in Perugia. It’s a very flexible recipe, so you can add or substitute many kinds of summery vegetables, from zucchini and pole beans to tomatoes and sweet corn, and change up the seasoning as well.

Asparagus & Garlic Scape Frittata

1-2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon minced rosemary or oregano
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup finely chopped garlic scapes
8 spears asparagus, chopped in 1-inch pieces
1 cup cooked rice (short grain brown or whatever you like)
6 large eggs, well beaten with 1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
1/4 cup grated pecorino or Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a wide, shallow pan that can go from stovetop to oven, combine 1 tablespoon oil, onion, salt, herbs, and pepper flakes if using and cook over medium heat to the fragrance point (about 2 minutes). Add garlic scapes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add asparagus, cover pan and cook until tender crisp (about 3 minutes), shaking pan a little to keep things from sticking. Add rice, stir well and cook for 1 minute. Add more oil if needed, then pour in egg mixture and shake pan to distribute evenly. Sprinkle with parsley and cheese, then cover pan and reduce heat to lowest possible setting. Cook until barely set (6-8 minutes or so) then uncover and transfer to oven until top is lightly browned and cheese is melted (10-12 minutes). Serves 4.

Perugina Pesto

Piquant with lemon and spicy with garlic, this recipe is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle but a food processor does the job in no time and the results taste just as lovely.

Garlic Scape Pesto

4 cups chopped garlic scapes
1/2 cup lightly roasted hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Juice and finely grated rind of half a large lemon
1/2 cup coarsely grated Pecorino cheese
2-3 tablespoons fruity olive oil

In a food processor, grind garlic scapes, nuts, and salt into a rough paste. Add lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, blending quickly, then add cheese, adding olive oil as needed to make paste smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice, then spoon into glass jars, cover with a little olive oil and use at once or refrigerate, tightly sealed, for up to 2 days. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

And By The Way

Feeling frustrated, helpless, uncertain about the state of our country? Here’s a comforting and clear guide to action:

Americans of Conscience Checklist

Each week, Jen sends out list of accomplishments, of successes, and of key tasks that need our focused concern. If it’s all too much, pick a single pressing issue and let your voice be heard. Every little bit, right? For me right now, it’s a family matter. As the current regime continues its assault on innocent people of many descriptions, the ongoing attacks on refugee families are among the most brutal. If you are horrified that families are being divided and that children are being incarcerated in cages without help or hope, you, like me, may want to speak out by calling your Senators in support of S.3036, a bill called Keep Families Together.

If you’re feeling outraged and overwhelmed, here’s a terrific link to a helpful site: 5calls.org (there’s a phone app too). I especially like the 5calls site because they offer a changing menu of topics you care about and a basic overview for whichever you select, various numbers to call depending on your zip code (including local offices if your politician’s D.C. line is busy or a voice mailbox is full). There’s also a guided script which you can change up or amplify as you like. I find this part really useful as I tend to start crying when I explain why I care so much about liberty and justice for all or basic human rights or human decency or Constitutional rights or…pass the hankies, please and hand me the damn phone.



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