I had an amazing recipe for ribs to share with you for grilling out for Memorial Day weekend but alas, I thawed out my ribs and they were freezer burnt. Sure I could have made them anyway (since this is a recipe I’ve made many times before) but there is no way I could have handled the delicious aroma of ribs permeating through the house knowing that I couldn’t eat them.
Instead, I thought I’d share my love for garlic scapes with you. Every year when their season rolls around, it makes me so happy that for a moment, I almost wish that they were available all season, if not all year. But part of their charm is that they’re here and before you can even begin to imagine getting sick of them, they’re gone.
Garlic scapes are the green, Medusa-haired offspring of garlic plants. I’m not sure how much you all know about garlic but it’s planted in the fall. There are two main kinds, softneck and hardneck garlic. Hardneck garlic usually shoot up flower stalks in late spring. These stalks are also known as garlic scapes. I cut them off every year so that my garlic bulbs will get plumper & fatter. Imagine the punch of garlic mixed with a little whiff of freshly mown green grass. I adore them. I’ve been known to create necklaces and large hoop earrings out of them and wear them around the house. Alas, my husband always stops me before I go out in public with them.
There are a lot of ways to use garlic scapes. I made refried beans this weekend and used them instead of garlic. I add them to my scrambled eggs. These are amazingly delicious when goat cheese is added as well. You can add them to baked potatoes and mix them into pasta. They’re delicious in stir-fries. I grill them and eat them plain. To be quite honest, I’ve yet to find a way I don’t like them. This white bean dip is my latest find.
This dip tastes like velvety Spring. The brassiness & grassiness of the garlic scapes are tempered by the beans. It’s a bit jarring to eat it plain but I found myself inhaling the better part of a loaf of bread with this dip last night. Much later that night I creeped into the kitchen to scrape down the food processor with a spatula to get every last bit. It’s addictive.
White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip
Adapted from The New York Times
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Note: Serve with freshly toasted bread, pita bread and/or vegetables. I particularly love blanched sugar snap peas with this dip.
1/3 cup sliced garlic scapes (roughly four of them)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
In a food processor, process together the garlic scapes with the lemon juice, salt and pepper until very finely chopped. Add the cannellini beans and process to a rough paste.
With motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil (this is a perfect time to use the feed tube of your food processor) and process until nice and smooth. Pulse in 2-3 tablespoons of water. Add more lemon juice, salt and pepper if desired.
Place dip in bowl, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Some other Memorial Day menu ideas: