It’s garlic scape season, otherwise known as the most wonderful time of the year. (Though: I say this about any fruit/vegetable with fleeting seasonality — rhubarb, zucchini blossoms, strawberries, tomatoes, corn, pomegranates, asparagus, peaches — so don’t mind my hyperbole.)
Last summer, when the scapes arrived in Toronto, I had an idea to blitz the barely-blanched curls with chèvre and some reserved water into a simple sauce. It was a revelation: creamy, sweet, salty and piquant with the mellow vibe of green garlic. I froze a second batch to prolong past the season and swore to Austin we would make the dish again the minute garlic scapes returned to market.
That day came yesterday. I scooped up our market’s stock and quickly headed home to recreate the magical sauce.
Lest you miss out while scapes are still (fleetingly, in the northeast) with us, here’s my super-simple recipe. Smear it on toasts, toss it with pasta, stir it into risotto or eat it by the spoonful. It’s that good.
Garlic Scape and Chèvre Cream Sauce
- 1 lb/500 grams fresh garlic scapes, trimmed
- 150 grams fresh chèvre (goat cheese)
- salt and pepper, to season generously
- reserved blanching water, to thin sauce
Blanch the scapes: In a large metal pot, submerge the trimmed scapes in well-salted boiling water. Cook for about 3 minutes, until vibrant green. Remove from heat and submerge in ice cold water. Reserve the cooking water.
Make the sauce: In a powerful blender or food processor, combine the scapes, cheese and about 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water. Blend on high speed for about 5 minutes, gradually adding more water if needed to thin as you scrape the sides with a spatula. The sauce is finished when creamy, smooth and flecked with small bits of scape.
Test for seasoning: Taste the sauce and add salt gradually until the flavours really pop. I needed about a heaping teaspoon. Add pepper as desired.
Serve: Toss with pasta, spread over toasts or blend into risotto or other soft grains.
Makes two one-cup sauce portions — one portion will sauce enough pasta for two hungry people. Use one portion now and freeze the other to enjoy later.