07 June 2010

guacamole with garlic scapes

Last year I planted garlic for the first time. I studied up on how to take care of them, and one of the things I read was to remove the scapes as they grow and start to curl.
What's a scape? A garlic scape is a flower stalk with a little bulb attached that grows from the center of the garlic leaves. If left alone, this will turn into a collection of miniature garlic cloves. But if you allow that to happen, the main bulb growing underground will not receive enough nutrients/energy to grow big and healthy. So you have to clip off that scape to have a nice crop of garlic.

I did this last year, and tossed them into the compost pile. Oops! I've since discovered that garlic scapes are quite a delicacy, often only found at farmer's markets. So this year, when I noticed a few starting to curl, I became determined to use them in the kitchen.
They have a garlic flavor, but it is much milder than a spicy garlic clove. You can use scapes raw to add a mild garlic taste. You can also cook them for a creamy, roasted garlic flavor.

This time around, I used them raw, in guacamole. (Next time, when I have more, I plan to roast them.)

All I did for this fabulous guacamole was chop up four avocados, squeeze in the juice of one lime, and add four chopped garlic scapes.
It got rave reviews. The tiny hint of garlic flavor, some added texture and crunch...talk about some gourmet guac. Yum.