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Garlic Scapes and the Park City Farmers Market

013The number one find at the Park City Farmers Market [1] was garlic scapes.  I’ve been reading about them everywhere, it’s like they’ve been stalking me with their ubiquity in print, but total absence in my produce stands.  Since the climate is totally different here, I’m guessing garlic scapes would be available in Texas in late Feb, early March and I just missed them.  But there they were, fresh, bright green, and beautiful.

Garlic scapes are the early flower sprouts that come at the beginning of the garlic season before the bulbs are mature enough to harvest.  Kind of like how some gardeners advise you to trim your basil before it goes to seed in order to encourage the plant to keep producing big leaves, some gardeners trim the scapes to encourage the plant to focus on growing hearty bulbs.

016Scapes have a more delicate garlic flavor, and in theory, can be eaten raw if harvested before they curl.  Mine of course were curly and too tough to eat raw, but did fabulously when trimmed, chopped and sauteed in olive oil.  We added ours to a salad, but thought we could eat just a plate of them straight.

I also got fresh salad greens from Chad’s Produce [2], 2009’s Best Farmer in Utah Award recipient, featured in our salad.  They were quite delicious.  And zucchini from the first person I’ve met in Utah who wasn’t very friendly, I’ll be sure to try another zucchini farmer next week.  The most amazing thing to me was the number of sustainable fish purveyors at the farmers market.  I didn’t purchase anything from them or really even check them out, I was just surprised to see at least 4 fish stands present.

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Sauteed Garlic Scapes

Bunch Garlic Scapes, rinsed, trimmed, and chopped

Olive oil

Flake salt

Pepper

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsps olive oil and garlic scapes.  Sautee about 10 minutes, until color starts to change and scapes become fragrant.  Test, if they still taste to peppery, saute a few more minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve in a salad or as a topping for steak, chicken or fish.

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