These quirky little serpent-like garlic scapes at the end of spring just ask to be used in any number of dishes, raw or cooked.
It was a beautiful Vermont Summer solstice weekend morning and my husband, sister, and I decided to hit the farmers market in Norwich, a lovely little village just a half hour from here. There are two reasons I love this market: 1. It’s one of the biggest around with tons of wonderful booths ranging from the local farmers, food producers, food booths, and wild foragers, to art and crafts, natural apothecary, jewelry, and music! 2. It’s literally only about a minute down Route 5 from King Arthur’s Baking headquarters, kitchen store, and cafe, which is second on the trip!
I found lovely kohlrabi, Swiss chard, garlic scapes, some calendula hand salve, and a beautiful hand woven cotton basket. There were lots of delightful conversations with the vendors, and so nice to be around other people, most of which remained respectfully distant, and many were masked even though we were outside. Here in our beautiful state, we are now at over 81 percent vaccinated, so there was much less apprehension about the day. In fact, we stretched the morning out so beautifully, we had to stop in Hanover, N.H., just across the river for lunch!
At the market, almost every farmer had lovely little bunches of garlic scapes. The scapes are twisted and twirly stems from the hard-neck garlic plant that produce buds which, if left on their own, would flower. Hardneck garlic is what does best in northern climates. However, farmers and gardeners trim the scapes off at this time of year so that the energy of the plant goes into growing the existing bulb bigger rather than creating a new bulb. Thus, we get better garlic, and the bonus of flavorful garlic stems well before the garlic itself is ready for harvest. A double harvest!
Lots of ways to cook them, all good!
These treasurers can be roasted, steamed, used in stir-fries, or raw in lovely garlicky pesto. Earlier in the week, I found the scapes at Harlow Farms, and grilled them. They were delicious!
But for this recipe, I decided to roast the scapes and blend them into mashed potatoes. The roasting sweetens the scapes much like roasted garlic is sweetened, and is perfect in the mash.
This is our new favorite brunch dish! What could be better than roasted garlic mashed potatoes? Roasted garlic scape mashed potatoes, with little potato peel treats on the side.
Roasted potato peelings
I also roasted the skins from the potatoes to add a little more crunch to the recipe, and, of course, to avoid waste. Once roasted, the skins taste a lot like potato chips, but without as much fat as deep fried.
Use this as a tempting potato side dish, or top with poached or over-easy eggs to make it a great brunch meal. Perfect for Fathers Day!
One of the funny little tangled bunches of scapes is about 1/4 pound, you don’t have to be precise here. If garlic scapes are out of season, just roast a head of garlic and add some lightly roasted scallions as well.
Garlic Scape Mashed Potatoes with Poached Eggs
- ¼ pound garlic scapes
- 2 ½ lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
- ½ cup oat or other plant milk, or milk, warmed
- 2 tbsp. butter or vegan butter
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Eggs for poaching
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
` For the scapes, trim the long thin “beaks” back to just past the bud; these long, thin ends can be a bit fibrous. Place on one end of an oiled baking sheet.
Peel the potatoes, and cut them in half. Place in a pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes, or until completely cooked. Test with a fork. In the meantime, blot the potato skins and place on the baking sheet with the scapes, and spritz with a little more oil. Do not crowd, if you have a lot, use two sheets so they can all be single file.
Set the timer for 8 minutes and the scapes should be browned on one side. Turn them over and cook an additional 2 or 3 minutes. The potatoes should be turned as well, and cooked for a few minutes longer than the scapes, but keep an eye on them.
Remove the scapes to a cutting board, sever the little bud heads and set aside for garnish. Chop the rest of the stems finely.
Place the potato peelings on a towel and sprinkle with salt.
Once the potatoes are finished, drain and mash. Add warmed milk and the butter, and combine well, then mix in the chopped scape stems. Liberally salt and pepper. Set aside to keep warm.
Poach or fry your eggs. Place the potatoes on a platter and make little indents for the eggs. Garnish with the scape buds and the crispy potato skins, and a few more grinds of pepper.
To poach eggs:
Heat water to cover eggs in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer, and add a splash of white vinegar. Carefully break the eggs into small bowls or ramekins and then gently slip the egg into the water. Let set for a minute or so, then gently use a slotted spoon to make sure the egg is not sticking to the bottom. The time to cook the egg will depend on the size. A large egg will probably take about three and a half minutes to set the white but keep the yolk runny. When you pick up the egg with the slotted spoon, it will just start to feel like it is firming up with a gentle touch. A lot of people tell you to make a big whirlpool in the pan and drop the egg in the center. This usually shreds the whites and defeats the purpose and you can only cook one at a time! You can cook five at a time in a 12″ skillet.
© Copyright 2021– or current year, The New Vintage Kitchen. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to The New Vintage Kitchen, with active link and direction to this original post.
The New Vintage Kitchen does not accept ads or payment for mention of products or businesses.