This year, for the first time, I noticed vendors at the local farmers market selling garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are the greens that shoot off the top of a variety of garlic. They have a milder, garlicky flavor. They are long, green, and have a bulbous head at the top. I had heard of scapes, but never used them and as I am intrigued by anything garlic related, I bought a bunch. With my first purchase, I made a pesto – just puréed scapes with olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan cheese (I just Googled a recipe). I used it on pasta, on a pizza and on some toasted bread with a fried egg on top and it was delicious. I picked up the next round intending to do the same thing, put holding those scapes, feeling the woody ends and craving Asian food, I figured maybe I could whip up something special and unique. And I must say I was inordinately pleased with myself.
Garlic Scape Beef Satay Skewers
You could easily use chicken with these skewers, but the cooking time will obviously be shorter.
1 bunch garlic scapes (about 6 scapes)
½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
Juice of one lime
Handful of cilantro leaves
About 10 mint leaves
A few Thai basil leaves (optional)
¼ cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 pound beef round, cut into equal-sized chunks
Make scape skewers by cutting the woody ends off of six scapes. Cut the ends into sharp points. Set aside.
Cut three of the scape top pieces (about 8 inches) and the ginger into small pieces and drop in a blender. Add the lime juice, cilantro, mint and basil leaves and the soy sauce. Blend until a paste forms – the scapes are woody, so this takes a little work and scraping down of the sides of the blender. With the blender running, drizzle in the sesame oil and blend until smooth. Pour the marinade into a ziptop bag and add the beef cubes. Seal the bag and shake everything around to coat the beef. Refrigerate for several hours, turning once or twice.
When ready to cook, heat the grill or a grill pan to high heat. Thread the beef onto the scape skewers. If needed, you can cut a small slit in each beef chunk to slide the skewer through. Grill the skewers until the beef is cooked through, about 10 minutes
Garlic Scape Satay Sauce
3 (8-inch pieces) of garlic scape
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Cut the scapes into small pieces and add to the blender with all the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Serve with Garlic Scape Beef Satay Skewers.
Makes 6 skewers