Garlic Scape Hummus
A surprisingly gentle green garlic flavor makes Garlic Scape Hummus a delightful spread for lunch or a party! Enjoy it during the short season for scapes!
If you get your vegetables from a farmer’s market or farmshare, you have a chance at intriguing vegetables that usually don’t make it to the local supermarket. Perhaps you find lamb’s quarters, or fiddleheads, harvested wild rather than grown in fields – or perhaps the farmer offers garlic scapes.
When garlic grows, it shoots up stems that then want to flower. But that pulls all the energy out of the garlic bulb, so farmers cut off these stems, called scapes, and, well… eat them themselves, or discard them, or, now sell them! And they are delicious – definitely garlic, but with a much milder, brighter flavor. (They’re also gorgeous – Baroque swirls of green!) Some people use them raw in pesto. I prefer some light cooking – but I enjoy them in scrambled eggs, sauteed with green beans, lightly grilled…
And I love them blended with chickpeas for a scape spread.
OK, I give up – scape hummus. I prefer not to use the term hummus for anything other than the original hummus bi tahini (I’ve discussed this before!) but when I say bean spread, no one knows what I am talking about, people don’t seem to think it sounds appealing, and a delicious recipe falls flat. And this is a delicious recipe! I first made it four years ago (wrote about it on the original Blogger site) and have made it, and shared it, every year since. (It’s been to a few Fourth of July parties… and vanishes rapidly!)
For two cups of chickpeas, I use four scapes, which gives me roughly half a cup of cut up pieces, after trimming. I find this a good ratio to begin with – if you’re a passionate garlic fan, you may want five.
Wash and trim the scapes. You need to cut off the potential flower head, and all the woody bit at the bottom end (and how much is woody may vary.) Then cut them in roughly half inch pieces, and blanch. I sometimes put them in a strainer and dip it into a pot of boiling water, sometimes drop them into the pot and then strain. You really want them in the boiling water for a minute or less – it just shocks them lightly. Drain and pour cold water over them to stop the cooking.
Put the scapes in a food processor and process, pulsing, until they are finely chopped. Add olive oil, and process to make a coarse paste. Rinse and drain your chickpeas, add them to the food processor, and blend until you have a delicate green puree. If you have unsalted, freshly cooked chickpeas you may want to add a pinch of salt – you don’t need it if the beans are canned, or cooked with salt.
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Then – and this makes a real difference with this recipe – put it all in a covered container and refrigerate it overnight. Really. The flavors soften and meld and blend and do all the things people talk about, and it is much better on the second day. So make it ahead for a party – when there’s too much to do at the last minute anyway! Make it after dinner for tomorrow’s lunch. (It carries beautifully in a lunchbox – a bowl of garlic goodness with crudites and crackers.) But whatever you do, do make this in scape season… it’s a short season, and garlic scape hummus has become my favorite way to enjoy it!
Garlic Scape Hummus
- 4 scapes
- 2 T olive oil
- pinch salt, opt.
- 2 c cooked chickpeas drained and rinsed
- Trim scapes, removing the flower end and the woody base of the stem. Blanch for one minute in boiling water. Rinse at once with cold water.
- Put scapes in food processor, and chop fine. Add olive oil, and process until a rough paste. Add chickpeas and process until you have a smooth puree.
- Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to meld.