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.


Serves 4

2 small bunches garlic scapes
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
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.

13 comments:

foodette said...

I have never heard of garlic scapes before - I plan on checking this out at the farmer's market Sunday. I do love garlic, and this seems like a new way for me to enjoy it.

Calabrisella said...

Beautiful Pix!
mmmmmmm!

bacini

Arantxa

Joanne Rendell said...

your pictures are so beautiful. i'm drooling into the keyboard again

Figs Olives Wine said...

Hi Foodette! They're really interesting actually. Very mild flavor - which opens up a lot of possibilities. Hope you find some! Let me know...

Hi Calabrisella, and welcome! Thanks so much for the kind words.

Hi Jo Jo, and thank you! Still cracking up over the table tennis video from your list...

Lucy said...

Elegant and gorgeous. The tomatoes look glorious!

Have just planted garlic in the hope that, come summer, garlic scapes can be mine too...

Figs Olives Wine said...

Oh how lovely, Lucy! One of the few things that make me sorry to live in NYC is not being able to have a garden. Spring garlic in all it's forms is such a treat for me. And scapes are the mildest of all. Can't wait to hear what you do with your garlic come spring!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Hey Amanda!

I have never had garlic scapes...I have never even seen them! If I ever do though I am getting my hands on them and heirloom tomatoes to make this beautiful dish you've created!

Figs Olives Wine said...

Hi Jenn, I hope you can find them! Their season doesn't last for long, and they're such a treat. Let me know if you have any luck!

bea at la tartine gourmande said...

This looks so gorgeous! I have never had these before, you know! I am going to look for them!

Cynthia said...

I've never had garlic scapes and would not find them in these parts unless they are probably imported :( Now, heirloom tomatoes, while we don't get them here, I have had them many times in the US :) sprinkled with fluer de sel, gosh they're good. I wish I could have some now.

Your dish is very light and summery.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Hi Bea! I hope you find them! Anyone who grows garlic should be able to cut you some scapes this time of year. Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Cynthia! Hope you had a nice birthday. You know, you could really try growing some garlic yourself I think. Your climate should work really well for that, and then you can cut your own scapes whenever they sprout. Do you garden at all? I think garlic's pretty simple to grow, and any ripe tomato would be delicious for this. Let me know if you have any luck.

Cynthia said...

Amanda, I thought that there temperature for growing garlic has to be cool too? am I right? It is always very hot down here.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Oh goodness, Cynthia, I'm sorry! Garlic grows in zones 7-10 (the Mediterranean is zones 8 - 10). Since I was just in Italy in the middle of a dreadful heatwave, I was thinking Barbados would be ideal, but I just checked and you're zone 12! So sorry about the misinformation. You'll simply have to come see us instead!

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