Farmer’s market season is here! We finally have joined a Farm Share, after wanting to for years. (See our farm’s explanation for those not familiar with the concept.) We’re hoping that this will help us to eat more locally grown and seasonal produce, as well as prompt us to try new items that we don’t usually reach for. So far it is working! In our share this week, we got garlic scapes, which we’ve never had before! Garlic scapes are the stalks that grow up above ground from hardneck garlic plants. Not only did we learn what they were this week, we also learned a farming tidbit. If the garlic scapes aren’t harvested, the plant expends energy supplying nutrients up the stalk so the plant flowers, which leaves less nutrients (= less size and flavor) for the below-ground garlic heads. So by harvesting and eating them, we’re helping grow more delicious garlic for later in the summer! But even more importantly, the garlic scapes are delicious themselves… they’re like a cross between garlic and onion… like a greener, herbier garlic flavor. They’re still strong and pungent and can be substituted for either ingredient depending on what you’re cooking and how ok you are with differing from your recipe. This week, we used some of our supply to make compound butter, which is AMAZING just slathered on bread. It would also be great to finish a steak or a pasta dish. Compound butter is one of those things that is so delicious and seems so fancy, but really requires minimal effort.
And as a side note, we also make this with our favorite vegan butter (Miyoko’s Creamery), which is dairy-free for the lactose intolerant among us. It works just as well.
Garlic Scape Compound Butter
- Fresh garlic scapes, coarsely chopped to yield ~1/2 cup
- 1 cup of butter, room temperature
- Lemon juice or a lemon
- Let the butter sit out until it is soft and room temperature.
- Coarsely chop the garlic scapes and then transfer to a food processor.
- Add a splash of lemon juice or a squeeze from a fresh lemon slice into the processor with the garlic scapes. Blitz until nearly smooth.
- Then add the butter in chunks to the food processor. Continue to blitz until a smooth mixture emerges.
- Taste for salt. If you used salted butter, you likely will not need any. If you used unsalted, you may need a bit. We used unsalted butter and then added maybe 1/8 tsp of salt. Stir together after the salt if you do add it.
- If using immediately, place into a bowl and refrigerate. Alternatively, roll it up with parchment paper and freeze for later!