Garlic scapes are the flower stalks of hard neck garlic although they do not produce flowers. These scapes will appear a month or so after the first leaves. They’re usually cut off the plant since they only divert the plants strength away from the bulb. If you leave them on they will make the small bulbs that could be planted, for more garlic but it would take years for them to get big. Many gardeners simply toss them in the compost, but garlic scapes are both edible and delicious.
This is the time of year, when most of the stored produce is either starting to grow or has long gone bad. Garlic scapes come in just in time. They are perfect for fresh spring garlic pesto.
After I trim my garlic scapes off the plants. I bring them into the kitchen and give them a good rinse in a sink full of water. I drain the excess water on a towel.
Then I cut the garlic scapes into small enough chunks to fit my food processor.
I add some cold pressed olive oil, and give it a whirl.
This goes into glass jars. Into the refrigerator and it’s ready for all kinds of delicious recipes.
Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes
1/3 cup walnuts
¾ cup olive oil
¼-1/2 cup grated parmigiano
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add Parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper.
Makes about 6 ounces of pesto.
Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Add to cooked pasta and serve.
Why you should eat garlic.
Garlic has long been touted as a health booster. It has been considered a cure-all in folklore medicine, curing everything from a cold to the plague. The Greeks would even feed garlic to their athletes before they competed in the Olympics.
Research is unlocking the secrets of this odoriferous bulb. Eating garlic boosts our natural supply of hydrogen sulfide which acts as an antioxidant and relaxes the blood vessels; this in turn increases your blood flow; so eating more garlic may protect your heart.
The power to boost hydrogen sulfide production may help explain why a garlic rich diet may protect against certain cancers. There is also growing evidence that garlic works like an antibiotic on certain bacteria is in the body. And it continues to work overtime. The bacteria in the body do not appear to evolve a resistance to the garlic, so there is no breeding of “superbugs”.
To maximize the health benefits of garlic, you should crush it at room temperature and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. This triggers an enzymatic reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in the garlic.
Garlic is a sulfurous compound and in general the stronger the taste the more sulfur it contains. This could mean more potential medicinal value. Organically grown garlic tends towards higher sulfur level. Whether that is fact, it is my opinion that it certainly tastes better.
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Remember you have a choice.