Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Posted by Kate at 7:27 AM
I decided to harvest some of the garlic scapes on the early side this year. Last year I let them go a while and the lower ends of them got a little tough. I took all of the scapes from two of the four varieties of hardneck garlic we're growing. One more hardneck variety has scapes ready to harvest, and the last one is just now forming its scapes. We also have a softneck variety this year, Kettle River Giant. Supposedly the softneck varieties store better, so we're hoping to chip away at the garlic gap (that period of the year when we don't have homegrown garlic) with the help of this variety.
The chicken stock was truly a home product. Not just made at home after the roast of a purchased local chicken, but the last of the White Marans hens we tried out briefly last summer and slaughtered in early fall. I put most of the chopped up scapes in the risotto early. Probably a bit too early, as they lost their lovely bright green tone. But they retained a pleasing firmness which reminded us of little green beans or thin asparagus. I held a small amount of chopped scapes in reserve to add at almost the last minute. These kept their color better. I'd probably choose to add the scapes just past the mid-way point in cooking this risotto if I did it over again. Of course, as seasonal as this dish is, the chances of me remembering this observation are slight. I just don't get to work with garlic scapes more than once or twice per year.
I won't even bother to give a sketch of my recipe here. Risotto is ridiculously easy to prepare and there are a thousand recipes easily accessible online. Just use a rice meant for risotto (Arborio, Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, etc.), use whatever vegetable and stock you have on hand, and keep stirring.