There are so many things to love about late Spring and early Summer. The gardens are starting to fill in – baby tomatoes cling to the tomato bushes, teeny zucchini are hidden under giant squash leaves, the peas are at their prime, and garlic scapes are mine for the taking.
What is said garlic scape? And what does one do with it?
I'm so glad you asked. Because in this house, one smothers them in olive oil and Parmesan, gives them a teeny pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, only to roast them into delicious, succulent, garlicey heaven.
Hmm. Spell check is telling me that garlicey isn't a word. I beg to differ.
You may remember last fall, we planted many rows of Music garlic. It was the first to drive it's green tendrils out of the soil in the early Spring and now that we've hit Summer, it's one of the first things to offer itself up for consumption. I'm not talking about the bulb of garlic that lives in the soil and shall be harvested early next month. I'm talking about the little curly piece that bolts towards the sun – eager to flower. But before it does, I clip it off.
I know. It sounds tragic. But this pruning serves two great purposes:
1. Providing me with garlic scapes to eat (that's an obvious one, right?)
2. Forcing the plant to put it's energy into root production (ie: garlic bulb) instead of flower production
This not only gives me bigger, healthier bulbs of garlic come harvest – but it also provides me with one of my favorite appetizers. Roasted garlic scapes with Parmesan cheese. Respectfully.
Roasted Garlic Scapes with Parmesan Cheese
You will need:
– 20-30 fresh garlic scapes (if you don't grow garlic, these are still often available at Farmer's Markets this time of year!)
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (Asiago is a great substitute)
1. Wash the garlic scapes and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the garlic scapes evenly across. Drizzle with the olive oil.
4. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the garlic scapes. Mmm. You can see why I love this already, don't you?
5. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Parmesan tends to be a salty cheese, so don't overdo it at first. Not that I've done this. Ahem.
6. Roast in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. The goal is to prepare a slightly softened and roasted scape – nothing mushy or overcooked. That being said, roasting brings out the scape's natural sweetness so be sure to let them get to that delicious point.
One might expect these garlic scapes to be like a garlic clove punching you in the face – however, you'll find just the opposite. They are delicately flavored of garlic, almost like a perfectly seasoned garlic bread – but without the bread part. It's subtle. But flavorful. And the cheese over the top? Fuh-get-about-it.
I like Parmesan because when it bakes and cools slightly, it gets a nice crunch to it which is what maaaaaakes these garlic scapes so fantastic – little soft sweet garlic scape blanketed in a salty and crunchy Parmesan. Stick a fork in me. I'm done.
Happy Garlic Eating!
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.