Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Great Scape

There's no getting around it: garlic scapes are weird. I mean, look at them. They shoot up like arrows from the heart of the plant, straightforward enough, and then turn head-over-heels in midair, hanging there like a freeze-framed gymnast. Or a misguided rocket. There's something sort of prehistoric about them too. And, forgive me, but has anyone seen Tremors? Don't these guys oh-so-slightly remind you of the littler evil-looking snake heads that shot out of the monster's gaping maw? Anyone? Okay.

Scapes. I don't know why we call them that. They're nothing fancier than unopened garlic flowers, which admittedly doesn't sound very appetizing. Somewhere along the line a sort of Garlic PR person must've decided they'd catch on better if we called them scapes. I don't mind-- it does lead to some excellent puns.

Anyway. This story begins last weekend, when Patrick and I attended a barbecue under an enormous blue tarp. Through the sheets of rain pouring down, I beheld a mason jar sitting on the food table, holding mysterious contents. Pickled garlic scapes. I was trepedatious. I feared a pickled garlic scape just might be pungent and fiery enough to burn a hole in my tongue.

I need not have worried. They were about as potent as your average dill pickles, and, when washed down with ample beer, quite good. At one point, Patrick, myself and three other friends stood in a circle passing the jar around, taking turns extracting the long green garlicky straws within. Furtively passing a jar around and giggling, it might as well have been moonshine.

As I said, addictive. Last night after work, I picked a bundle and, using a recipe for Dilly Beans, did my first canning of the season.
And oh, it felt good.

And tomorrow, I make jam!

Find more information on garlic scapes, including how to grow them.


Amanda Nicole said...

Wow, I'd never seen scapes before, they're crazy lookin! I'd love to see some incorporated into a wildflower bouquet.

Julia said...

oh wow Amanda Nicole - I love that idea of putting scapes in a bouquet! Never had pickled scapes before but I like to make spicy garlic scape pesto for sandwiches.

ChristyACB said...

Great picture of them from above. And while I can't remember Tremors, I do think they look ever so weird.

I've never had them pickled and now I'm curious. They sure do look pretty in your jar. Let us know how the jamming session goes!

Kristina said...

Wow, yes, putting them in a bouquet sounds like a great idea. If I had any left, that's what I'd do!

Christy-- I will definitely post the results of my jam session-- however, it won't be tomorrow, as the strawberries aren't quite ready yet. I called. Shucks.

Karli said...

I looove scapes.... I've never had them pickled either, but they're delicious sauteed with a little olive oil and salt!

Blue is Bleu said...

Their weirdness makes them so awesome! Makes me want to grow some so I have this on my kitchen counter... and then maybe cook them to see what they taste like.

Kristina said...

Karli-- I've actually never eaten them any way other than pickled. I've seen lots of pesto recipes around, tho; that might be next on my list.

Blue-- They're super easy to grow.

zoe said...

Wow! you can pickle just about anything cant ya? Fun idea.

Eliana said...

I've never seen these before. They look kinda beautiful.

Kristina said...

Zoe-- yes, you can pickle anything. I'm waiting for a pickled banana peel recipe to make its appearance. C'mon, there's gotta be one.

Eliana-- they're beautiful in a modern architecture sort of way. Seeing them growing is even better.

suna said...

you are a genius!!!!!!!!!!!
I'll have to grow more for next year.

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