Another week, another semi-illicit Farmers’ Market Challenge pick-up. For this week’s secret ingredient, Joe sidled up to the table where I was having dinner with Mr. T and some friends to hand me a white plastic bag full of unruly green snakes–garlic scapes–before melting back into the crowd. It’s all very exciting, you see, particularly since I’d never cooked with garlic scapes before. Uncharacteristically, I didn’t do any research at all, merely took a look and a nibble and decided what I wanted to do. They look very Asian-y, and while I’d not eaten them either, I though the garlic scapes would make for a lovely fried rice.
Raw, the scapes were quite bracingly garlic-y. Cooked, they took on a vegetal sweetness, but retained a powerful garlic flavor as well–much to my surprise. They also had a pleasingly substantial crunchy-tender texture that provided a nice contrast to the rice and chewy sausage. All in all, this was a winner. The scapes definitely were front and center in this dish, but everything else came together behind them to make a tasty, coherent dish that wasn’t overpoweringly garlic-y. Or scape-y, for that matter. I’d be happy to serve this to anyone’s po-po or nai-nai, should they come to dinner.