A couple of weeks ago, I had a lovely Sunday afternoon wandering around the farmers market with JenFinn. I love visiting the market with her because we spend so much time there, I often find ingredients I've never used before. I've been visiting farmers markets for so long, I sort of have tunnel vision and only focus on what I need. Spending a little extra time can bring me new discoveries. In case you've never come across a garlic scape before it looks like this:
Garlic scapes are the green stem that develop in the middle of a garlic bulb. When you cut into them they are just as fragrant as a clove of garlic, but without the sticky feeling. I wasn't quite sure about how to use them, but a fellow shopper suggested I try a stirfry. I saw many recipes for garlic scape pesto and pickled garlic scapes, but no stirfries so I had to come up with something on my own. The flavors here are simple and highlight the fresh vegetables. I prefer crisp, vibrant vegetables, but if you prefer yours softer (I'll try not to judge), try blanching the vegetables first or cooking them a little longer in the pan.
Asparagus and Garlic Scape Stirfry
*Note, garlic scapes are quite fiborous in the thickest part. If you prefer a softer vegetable, try blanching them briefly before adding them to the stirfry or cooking them for a few minutes longer than the asparagus.
Makes 2 servings
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
1 small shallot, minced
20 thin asparagus spears, cut into 1-2-inch pieces on the diagonal
8 garlic scapes, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon honey
Pinch red pepper flakes
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
In a large skillet or wok, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, 1 minute.
Add the asparagus and garlic scapes to the pan. Cook, tossing frequently, until the vegetables are cooked through, but still crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, and red pepper flakes and toss to combine. Serve warm, garnished with sesame seeds if desired.