Garlic scapes: just like garlic but bad breath x1,000

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I had exactly three dollars left at the farmers market this weekend and was about to leave but got curious about a mini-clutch of people near the back. It was the Swede Lake Farms table, and off to one side, they had a giant basket of garlic scapes -- the crazy-looking giant chive-like tops of garlic bulbs -- selling for $3/bundle. Sold!

Puzzled over what, exactly to do with garlic scapes? So was I, but no prob. The Watertown-based Swede Lake has some ready recipes to get you started (check 'em out next time you go to Mill City or Kingfield markets) -- one for a basil-less pesto (parsley instead), one for caesar salad that involves grilling the romaine leaves (awesome) and one for hummus, which I tried first since I already had all the other ingredients.

Hummus With Garlic Scapes

1/3 cup garlic scapes (3-4)
1 Tb. lemon juice
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 can garbanzo beans or 1 1/2 cup soaked and cooked
2-3 Tb. tahini
1/4 t. cayenne
1 t. cumin
1/4 cup olive oil

Process scapes, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add beans, tahini, cayenne, and cumin. Puree. While pureeing, pour in olive oil. Add 1-3 Tb. water to desired consistency.

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The scapes add some color and texture to the hummus that you don't get with the bulbs, and the cumin adds a nice hint of smokiness. The scapes can substitute straight-up for garlic in most recipes says Swede Lake, and they're thought to pack less flavor than bulbs, these scapes are off the charts. A day later and I feel like I can almost see each and every garlicky exhale. Check out the Southwest Journal's recent article on Swede Lake, with some additional scape info.


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