OMG Green Market: Garlic Scapes
active: 15 min
total: 45 min
Late spring and early summer is a time of incredible bounty at the farmers market. After a long, cold winter of limited produce in the form of root vegetables and hearty leaves of kale and cabbage, vendors’ tables explode with color: tiny garnet-red strawberries, sugary bright-green snap peas, softly folded heads of crimson lettuces. After so many months of roasted potatoes and mushy soups, it’s easy to go a little crazy at the market, snatching up the vegetables that finally bring both texture and flavor back onto our dinner plates.
But however tempting they are, some of the items available right now can be confusing when it comes to actually cooking them: Rhubarb is a delight, but how many compotes can one cook make? What is a kohlrabi, anyway? Long, curly, dark green garlic scapes can also be added to the tasty-but-inscrutable list: What to do with them?
There’s no need to be intimidated by these late-spring beauties. They’re actually quite versatile. Ground up with pine nuts or walnuts, they make a lovely pesto; minced and added to marinades, they impart a subtle garlic aroma to chicken and fish. But one of my very favorite ways to use garlic scapes is in these flavor-packed gribenes toasts, which make an indulgent complement to soup or salad.
Inspired by a recent New York Times recipe for buttery garlic toasts, these crostini ditch the butter, using schmaltz, that oh-so-Jewish lipid, instead. The fragrant, golden oil is a cinch to make; when stirred together with the oniony scapes and the crispy gribenes that are created when you render the schmaltz, you get a flavor-packed topping for slices of crusty bread. Toast them up in the oven, savor the alluring aroma, and then see how long these last when you serve them up to friends and family at dinnertime.