Have you ever seen a garlic scape? Every July I make my pilgrimage to the Union Square Farmer's Market to pick up several of these exotic looking tops of the garlic plant. You can buy them already cut or attached to the fresh green garlic bulb which I also adore to use in cooking. It is milder and has a lovely texture. Later on in August they sell them as what I call garlic pearls when the little seeds inside grow into tiny buds that if planted would form new garlic bulbs. They are a nuisance to peel but worth it for their lovely crisp texture and little bursts of flavor. I sometimes poach them for a minute or so in boiling water to make the skins easier to remove and then add them to pasta and pesto or ratatouille. The fresh scapes are great sautéed lightly in a little olive oil or even steamed just until the stems are tender--about 5 minutes (insert a thin metal or wooden skewer to judge this). Until I'm ready to cook the scapes I put them in a vase as table decoration.
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