Scapes are the aboveground reproductive part of hard-neck garlic. Ranui CSA members will enjoy several varieties of hard-neck garlic later this season; this time of the year John removes the scapes from the garlic to allow the bulb to grow larger and we get the garlicky mellow scapes in our box. Ever since we bought a grill and our friend Steve P. told us about grilling scapes, we’ve grilled them—but they are delicious pan-sautéed, steamed or roasted. Use them anywhere you would use garlic, in soups and casseroles. I know for sure John eats them raw in his salad.
For the scapes: Trim and remove the seedpods from the top and break away the tougher bottom part just as you would for asparagus. Toss them in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on high heat until tender, 5 to 8 minutes.
1 cup grilled scapes, cut in ½-inch lengths
About 6 ounces bowtie pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously. Cook the pasta until it is tender to the bite.
Meanwhile, in a skillet on very low heat, cook the oil, garlic and red pepper until the garlic is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and olives and chopped grilled scapes. Keep warm but do not let the garlic get brown.
When the pasta is ready, add to the skillet and toss with the scapes, tomatoes and olives. Toss in some cheese, then check the seasoning and salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Serves 2. Multiply up for more servings.