What's Fresh

Tuna is back for the next two weeks.  This weekend, October 11th fresh Pumpkins will be available through the Pumplin Project-island children selling pumpkins to raise money for Helpline.  Now's the time to take home fresh vegetables to put up for the winter. Bring your shopping bags and stock up!


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Edible Island: Great Garlic Scapes By Carolyn Goodwin

Curly green garlic scapes are the flower shoots that garlic sends up early in its growth cycle. The garlic doesn’t need them – in fact the bulbs won’t plump up unless the “scapes” are removed. So farmers clip them off in June, and garlic scapes become abundant and affordable at the Bainbridge Farmers’ Market. But what the heck do you do with them? 

Think scallions (green onions) with a kick, or asparagus with attitude. When young and curly, scapes have a mild garlic taste without the bite. As they get older, they straighten out and take on more of a garlic punch.

Garlic scapes make a wonderful addition to stir fries, salads, guacamole and salsas. Just remove the flower bulb and slice like a scallion. They also make a zingy addition to baked or smashed potatoes. Or chop them up to add to a frittata with spinach and parmesan. Blanch them briefly in boiling water to mellow their flavor and texture, if you like. Scapes can also be treated like asparagus. Cut the flower bulb off and steam them, or toss them in olive oil and roast in a hot oven or on the grill.

Garlic scape pesto is a fabulous way to get a fresh pesto fix before basil season. Here’s a basic recipe – you can substitute asiago for parmesan, add pine nuts or walnuts, but this is a good start from Mary Jane’s Farm :

Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 lb. scapes
1/2-cup olive oil
Salt to taste
Puree scapes and olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Stir in Parmesan and lime or lemon juice and season to taste.
Once you get a taste of scapes, you’ll be looking for ways to take advantage of their brief, bounteous season. You’ll enjoy them in  pasta , in tasty little pies with chard , a  pork and tofu stir fry or a  summer succotash from my current favorite cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques . Garlic scapes are a great escape from the mild tastes of winter and early spring, and a harbinger of the garlic and tomato days to come.

© 2008 Bainbridge Farmers Market