In the deluge of summer produce and the push for new and creative dishes (cooking straight from the farm requires taking real advantage of the growing season when it is at its best – i.e., right now), I sometimes forget how delicious and beautiful the simplest preparations can be. This time, thanks to a stray comment from the farmer who was selling the two main ingredients for this recipe, I put on the brakes of my mental wheels and just left well enough alone.
Garlic scapes are a very seasonal farmer’s market and/or kitchen garden find. And, indeed, I was rather surprised to find them still at the Headhouse Market last weekend. I usually sauté them or chop them up to stand-in as a more potent form of garlic. But the farmer, who was responding to a curious shopper’s inquiry as to what these funny curly needles of green were, said he liked throwing them on the grill to char them. “Interesting,” I thought, before scrunching up my nose when I remembered I don’t have a grill at the moment. D’oh!
Have no fear, the toaster oven is here! Yes, you read that right. I, the woman with unreserved distain for toaster ovens, actually used one willingly and to great success. I wanted high heat and the confined and easily visible cavity of the toaster oven worked like a charm. If you’re not really into grilling on your toaster oven rack (gee, why not?), this method is no doubt easily transferable to a real grill.
The meal was completed with herb roasted potatoes and local corn on the cob. The presentation was almost the best part as the charred garlic scapes really catch your eye. Since mine were so large, they were a bit fibrous, but the taste – smoky, slightly sweet garlic – was outstanding!
Grilled Garlic Scapes with Herb Roasted Potatoes
A Straight from the Farm Original
1 handful of garlic scapes
1 lb. new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. sea salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 t. dried or fresh dill
1 t. dried or fresh marjoram
1 t. dried or fresh rosemary
Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 475 F. If you are using a grill, make sure that’s good and hot too.
Trim any bad ends off of the garlic scapes. Take one scape and chop in finely and set aside. On a baking sheet lined with foil, place the quartered potatoes and whole garlic scapes. Drizzle with oil and toss with your hands until everything is coated evenly. Wipe off your hands and sprinkle the chopped scape and the remaining spices over the baking sheet. Toss again with your hands to evenly distribute. Wipe off your hands again.
Fish out the garlic scapes from the baking sheet and set aside. Place the potatoes in the preheated oven to roast until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. To cook the garlic scapes, place directly on the hot oven/toaster oven rack or the grill. Cook on each side until golden and wilted, about 2-3 minutes per side.
To serve, while still hot, pile roasted potatoes on a platter and top with garlic scapes.