Spring means fresh garlic scapes – a delicious and transient treat to look forward to each year. Because their season is so short, you have to take full advantage of it. So, I decided to have scapes for breakfast.
Scapes can be a little tough if they are not well cooked, so I cooked them before putting them in the omelette. I cut the tops off three scapes and 2 green onions. I sliced the scapes down the center and then chopped the scapes and green onions into pieces about 1.5 – 2 inches long. I heated 1/2 tbsp of butter in a small pan and sautéed the scapes and green onions with salt and pepper until they changed color. Then I added just enough water to cover them and let them simmer for about five minutes until tender. I drained the fluid off and let them rest before adding them to the omelette.
For the omelette, I used three eggs which I whisked 2 tbsp of water and 1/4 tsp of paprika because its smokiness will complement the garlic. I heated my griddle to 250° F and melted as little butter as possible to coat the surface. I poured the omelette mixture and let cook.
I did not add salt. Salt is good on fried eggs, eggs sunny side up, eggs over easy , but for scrambled eggs and omelettes – when the yolk is mixed with the whites, salt will make the eggs get tougher and rubbery. No salt makes tender eggs .Add the salt when you are done.
I spread the scapes and green onions over the omelette mixture and dropped two small dollops of sour cream on top. Then using a thin piece of wood (a lefse turner) I rolled the omelette up. You can use a very thin spatula, but I love my lefse turner.
I make omelettes on a lefse griddle. It’s hard to go wrong with such precise temperature control and all the space in the world for the omelette to spread out thin. The edges are shallow, so it’s easy to lift the edges of the omelette for turning – with no sides of a fry pan interfering with your ability to get under the omelette.
The blend of garlic scapes, green onions and sour cream was delicious and the hint of paprika smoke was perfect.
My best friend brought over a bunch of garlic scapes. If you have never had them, they are the early spring shoots off garlic plants and they have this delicious and so very delicate oniony-garlic flavor. A favorite way to cook them is roasting them in the oven, but I swear my downstairs neighbor still has the heat on so I did not want to heat up the apartment by turning on the oven. Since I love soup just about more than anything, I decided I would try come up with something that would respect the delicate flavor of the scapes. Lots of googling found several recipes mostly for garlic scapes and white bean soups. There are no white beans in the pantry so that’s out. There were several recipes with potatoes in a pureed soup. I think garlic scapes are so pretty, that I decided to just come up with something on my own and see what happens.
I heated 1 TBSP of olive oil in my 2 quart sauce pan. I chopped the scapes into pieces about 1.5 inches long and tossed them in to sauté. I added 1 tsp of dry tarragon. I would have used fresh, but I didn’t have any. I also added some salt and pepper because you always want to season in layers so that the flavor builds in each ingredient you add. I had the heat up just a bit above medium because I wanted the scapes to brown and caramelize just a bit to bring out their sweetness.
As soon as I had nice caramelization, I added 3 cups of chicken broth (made by boiling the heck out of a roast chicken carcass and all the onions that it rested on while roasting) and 3 potatoes, cubed into just under 1 inch bites. I added a dash of salt and pepper and cooked until the potatoes were tender. It is essential that you cut the potatoes all the same size because you want them to all be done at the same time. Otherwise you will have underdone and mushy potatoes which is really not appealing. If you want a vegan version, use vegetable broth instead.
So this was the moment of truth, would the scapes be too fibrous as they are? Would I have to puree to deal with the texture? Well, I am happy to report they maintained their integrity, not turning to mush, while also being tender and toothsome without a hint of being too fibrous for soup. The flavor was a bit mellow, so I added the juice of one lemon and another dash of salt and pepper and it was done. And it is amazing.
The deepest flavor is a rich oniony-garlic flavor from the scapes with high notes of tarragon and lemon. It is a truly stunning soup that is made even more special because scapes have such a short window during the year. So get to the store now, they could be gone in no time.
This made 6 generous servings. You could make a vegan version by using vegetable broth.
This was an easy layered salad that took just 5 minutes to make. This is a recipe for two salads as I had company.
I took one pear and sliced thin wedges and layered them in the bottom of a small bowl. On top of that I placed a layer of sliced air-dried beef (Bresaloa). This is from Roget’s Meats in Hubbard, Oregon, and a gift from a friend of mine, but any large city should have it on sale somewhere or you can order it online. It’s more common on the east coast than on the West Coast. On top of that I crumbled a bit of chevre. I cut the tops off two garlic spears. I then cut the spears in half lengthwise and chopped the long stem into 1/4 long pieces and sprinkled on top.
I had some onion vinaigrette that I made a few weeks ago and dressed the salad with that. I took the tops of the garlic shoots, cut them in half and removed the inside and used the outside for garnish.
The sweet pear, garlic and onion vinaigrette were great balances to the rich, heady taste of the dried beef and the chevre. It was an easy, delicious salad that took very little time to make and made a strong visual and flavor impression