On our trip last week to Ithaca, NY, we stopped off at our favorite Farmers Market... The Ithaca Farmers Market. http://www.ithacamarket.com/
We always find something new there to try and this time was no exception. We happened to notice people checking out and buying these curly looking scallions (or so we thought). They were buying a TON so we knew they couldn't be scallions because REALLY, what do you do with a TON of scallions. We kept walking around and found another 'farmer' that had these interesting curly things. We asked him about them. He explained that they are Garlic Scapes... the stems and seed heads of the garlic plant. For about 2 weeks in June, they curl and that's the perfect time to pick them. He explained that if they don't look like a pigs tail, they aren't ready! He said that people can't get enough of these things and will travel for hours just to get them! I read on someones blog that they actually drove 451 miles (8 hours EACH WAY) to get them! Another guy liked them so much he started his own business pickling them. He goes throughout N.Y. state gathering up whatever he can to use for his Pickled Garlic Scapes. http://www.lukesmillcreekfarm.com/
People saute them, pickle them and make pesto with them. Well, PJ and I LOVE garlic so we HAD to get some of these and give it a try. It was too early in the week as we weren't going home for 5 more days so he told us where his farm stand is and he'll pick some Tuesday night for us so they would be nice and fresh for us to bring home.
Throughout the week, we became more and more intrigued with these things. Thoughts were running through our heads of using our land in Ithaca to grow garlic and then have a side business of Pickled Scapes etc. This is even before tasting them! Just the thought that people can't get enough of these things made us get our brains rolling. Of course that will never happen but it's always fun to dream!
We ended up buying 5 POUNDS of these things. I LOVE canning so my plan was to make pesto and pickle some.
After making these, I must have really smelled like garlic. I shower twice a day but that didn't help. I had a dream that PJ pulled the car over so we could sleep (in the dream we had been to the wineries). I didn't know where we were though. I remember opening up my eyes (even though I was dreaming) and it was completely dark. I didn't know where I was but smelled the garlic. PHEW! I thought he pulled the car into a field of Garlic Scapes! Then I woke up to realize I was in my bed, in a dark bedroom smelling the garlic still on/in me! I thought it was pretty funny!
I have put the recipes on my cooking blog... http://mamazukecooks.blogspot.com/
I made 6 jars of pesto...
and 9 jars of Pickled Garlic Scapes.
I love learning about new culinary things!