Garlic scapes or the green tops of the garlic plant are often cut off while they are still immature to encourage the bulbs to grow larger. The garlic scapes are edible and generally have a milder flavour than the garlic cloves themselves. I first heard about garlic scapes last year but I had just missed them and I have been patiently waiting to try them since. This weekend I was lucky enough to spot some and I immediatly picked them up. While I was thinking about what to do with the garlic scapes the first thing that came to mind was a variation of one of my favorite dishes, scampi, with the garlic replaced with fresh chopped garlic scapes. Scampi is shrimp dish served in a garlic, butter and white wine sauce. Normally when I make scampi I toss the shrimp and sauce with pasta but this time I decided to serve the shrimp with some crusty bread to soak up all of the buttery, garlicky, sauce. I had heard that cooking garlic scapes would reduce their flavour or make them milder so I changed the recipe up a bit and added the garlic scapes closer to the end to try to retain as much flavour as possible. The garlic scapes did not disappoint! They had the garlic flavor that I enjoy so much but it was some how fresher and it went well in the scampi with the shrimp. With my first experiment with garlic scapes such a success I am looking forward to trying something else with them.
Garlic Scape Scampi(makes 2 appetizer sized servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pinch red chili pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 pound shrimp (shelled and deveined)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
1/4 cup garlic scapes (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon butter
1. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a pan.
2. Add the red chili pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Add the shrimp and saute until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.
4. Remove the shrimp from the pan.
5. Add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil.
6. Simmer the liquid until reduced by about half, about 3-5 minutes.
7. Add the garlic scapes and simmer until fragrant, about a minute.
8. Add the butter, wait for it to melt and turn off the heat.
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