Sunday, June 27, 2010

Garlic Scape Quinoa with Basil

Finally I was able to cook with the garlic scapes which I picked up at the Locke St. Farmer's Market. This plant is the green portion of the garlic plant, and is therefore also called green garlic. I have never seen this vegetable until this year, but will definitely track it down next season. I removed the ends and also the white bulb end. I am sure this is edible, but most sources said to remove the bulbs. There isn't too much information out there for garlic scapes.

I then cut up the middle curly portion into 2 inch pieces. I took a little nibble and the flavour was strong! Initially it was a mild garlic flavour, but then got spicy. Definitely want to cook these, unless you chop them up and use as a condiment.

A lot of recipes out there use garlic scapes similarly to beans in a stir-fry. I know I said I was going to make a garlic scape pesto, but I did not have parmesan cheese, or the time to make the vegan parmesan cheese. That will be for the next bundle of garlic scapes I get my hands on.
Once the green is cooked it has a much milder flavour, and a similar texture to a green bean. I kept the seasoning to a minimum for this recipe becuase I really wanted to see what these bad boys could do on their own. I added fresh basil near the end which was fantastic with the scapes. I would add double next time.

Garlic Scape Quinoa

1 small bundle garlic scapes, ends and bulbs removed, chopped into 2 inch pieces
1/2 stalk brocolli, cut into bite sized pieces
9 white mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil (double this if you like)
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sautee the onion for 3 minutes until fragrant.
2. Toss in brocolli and garlic scapes. After 3-5 minutes add mushrooms. Sautee until brown and vegetables almost cooked. Reduce to medium-low.

3. Add quinoa and basil and toss until vegetables soft.
4. Plate and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Quinoa is a fantastic grain because it contains all 8 essential amino acids and has lower amounts of carbohydrates than other grains (Edible by National Geographic). It has a nutty flavour and is perfect for adding to stir-fry and sauces.

If you can't find garlic scapes substitute beans and 2 cloves of garlic. This vegetable is nearly finished its season around here so beans it may have to be in the near future. If you don't have the luxury of a few basil plants in your backyard, pesto would be another option (best when purchased in the refrigerated section). Another option is to add sweet corn. I don't know what it is but corn and basil go wonderfully together.

Using the nutritional yeast as a condiment added very little flavour, but did add some texture. It could be substituted with some parmesan cheese, or left out all together. This ingredient still intrigues me and I am really wanting to see how it works in making sauces. This is not the end of the road for nutritional yeast.


  1. Hey D! I made this garlic scapes recipe 2 weekends ago. Garlic Scapes and Red Mashed Potatoes. Check it out:

    Your quiona looks great! Maybe I'll make it tonight (I have some more garlic scapes in the fridge)

  2. That recipe looks like it would be delicious!