Friday, June 29, 2007
Roasted Garlic Scapes with Heirloom Tomatoes
Garlic scapes are the shoots that sprout up in early summer from the center of a garlic bulb. Curved and serpentine, they carry a false bud or pod that will eventually produce garlic seeds. But harvested fresh and young, the scape is a glorious vegetable: tender, mild, and perfect for blanching, sautéing, or roasting.
Pittstown Farm had some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes at the market this week, and, as you've heard, I've been craving them for a long while. Well they finally came into season while I was in Italy, and I knew that the mild garlicky crunch of the scapes would be a lovely foil for a plate of the juicy tomatoes sliced and drizzled in peppery olive oil.
We had ours with some roasted flounder as a simple, refreshing dinner. A word to the wise though: scapes are not date food. Nor are they food for any other situation where you might tend to take yourself seriously. The curls get out from under you if you’re not vigilant about cutting small bites. So eat with a friend or alone, but do take advantage of scape season. Not sure where to find scapes near you? Try the Local Harvest Market Finder.
2 small bunches garlic scapes
extra virgin olive oil
3 large or 5 small heirloom tomatoes
good sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
small handful fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 400 F
Trim the picked end of the scapes. In a small roasting pan, toss the scapes with a generous glug of olive oil and a good shower of salt. Roast for 15 - 20 minutes until tender but firm.
Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and arrange them on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Tear over the basil leaves and, when the scapes are ready, tumble them over the tomatoes. Serve while the scapes are still hot.