Saturday, May 8, 2010

Garlic Scape Butter

Support your local Farmer's Market! Our local market opened last weekend, but I didn't get a chance to check it out until today. I came home with duck eggs, heirloom tomato plants, a loaf of artisan bread and a bag full of these green twisted beauties. They're garlic scapes-the bright green, curled, twisted tops of garlic that must be cut in the spring to keep garlic bulbs growing until harvest time in the fall. I've never used them before, but I love garlic and they looked too fresh and green to pass up. (Especially since my purchase included a recipe for garlic scape butter which looked simple enough to make on a lazy Saturday afternoon.)

The recipe is simple. You'll need to let a stick of butter sit out on the counter for a while until it softens. Finely chop -either by hand or in a food processor- 6 (or more) garlic scapes. I only used six this time, but next time I'll probably use a bit more. Put a little of the butter into a saute pan with the garlic scapes, a grind or two of pepper and about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Gently saute until the scapes are tender and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Let this mixture cool a bit and then mix it into the rest of the softened butter. The original recipe called for chopped parsley as well, but I opted out this time around.

I used some of this tonight on pasta (with pecorino romano and pine nuts) and it was perfect (and alliterative). It added a subtle garlic flavor without being overpowering at all. I'm looking forward to finding more ways to use what's left. Spread on some of my artisan loaf and gently toasted in the oven? Or maybe tomorrow morning to scramble with my duck eggs? Don't worry- it won't go begging!

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