Thursday, July 12, 2012

Garlic Scrapes/Spring Scallions

Have I had my eyes closed all these years or are more and more items that used to be reserved for the compost pile coming to the market at premium prices?   I've long enjoyed spring Beet Greens, the product of thinning the growing beet crop, steamed and topped with a splash of vinegar.  Over the past several years many other "thinnings" have made their way to the market, and the menus of local-farm-oriented restaurants, or at least I am noticing them for the first time.

I've seen pea tendrils for a few years and successfully tried them several times this spring, but recently garlic scrapes caught my eye for the first time.  Their curvy-free form shape is particularly interesting. The scrapes are apparently trimmed off the garlic plant to prevent them from sapping nourishment from the garlic head itself. I was told they are a garlicky version of a scallion and can be used in place of a scallion, either raw or cooked. I tried them first in a salad and they were quite tasty albeit with a strong bite. I also tried them basted with olive oil and grilled along with scallions.  While the green scallion stem is hollow, the green garlic scrape stem was filled with a fibrous garlicky tasting substance.  This was perhaps because the garlic scrapes I tried were a bit on the large size.  Interesting to try, but I'm not adding them to my list of spring/early summer highlights. They will definitely not replace the awesome green and purple spring scallions I so look forward to.  (Photo at left includes grilled scallions and asparagus and  Rosemary Chicken.)

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