Fast forward a couple decades and I now grow my own garlic. Lots and lots of garlic. This year's crop is the biggest yet at around 100 plants. I have my trip to Korea last year to thank for this increase in garlic production. Koreans love their garlic, and as a result they are experts at growing it. One thing I noticed when I looked out on field after field of garlic when we were on Jeju Island was how close together the plants were. It was way closer than what my gardening books recommended. I decided that from now on I was going to grow garlic the Korean way.
|Garlic crop on Jeju Island, Korea 2010|
Here is one of our favourite ways to eat garlic scapes. This is a very basic pizza recipe, but don't be fooled. What it lacks in ingredients it more than makes up for in flavour. I use my bread machine to make a basic pizza dough.
Once I have that started I head out to the garden to cut some scapes. The scape is the immature flower stalk of the garlic plant. Ideally you want to cut these off once they begin to form so the plant's energy can be directed to the developing bulb. It is an added bonus that they also happen to be both edible and delicious.
I cut the top part of the scape off because I find it a bit tough. Then I use kitchen shears to cut the rest of the stalk into pieces about an inch long. I also find something else in my garden to use as a topping. This time it was basil, last time it was spinach. I just go with whatever happens to be ready to harvest.
Put the cut pieces of garlic scapes into a bowl with a small amount of olive oil and sea salt. Stir.
If you are using a pizza stone, which I highly recommend, now is the time to place it in the oven. Turn your oven to 450F. Roll out the pizza dough.
Sprinkle your wooden pizza paddle with a liberal amount of corn meal. Trust me on this - you don't want to skimp or your pizza will not slide off the paddle and onto your pizza stone. Rather, it will get all scrunched up, fold over on itself, and resemble a calzone that is having a very bad day.
Place your rolled out dough onto the pizza paddle. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Top with the garlic scapes and basil (or whatever else you have picked for a topping). And no, it isn't an oversight. There is no sauce added to this pizza. I told you it was basic!
Slide carefully onto the hot pizza stone.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cheese starts to brown.
When it is ready I use the pizza paddle to transfer the pizza from the stone to a pizza pan. Let it cool for a few minutes, slice, and enjoy.