As promised, in my May 22 entry, garlic scapes have arrived. Right now in the northeast these newly emerged flower stalks of garlic are ready, willing and quite able.
These nascent buds are extremely tender and completely usable. They impart the quietest garlic aroma you will ever have. The stalks have a stronger taste than the unopened flower top, and for the next few weeks I will use it all: sautéing them whole or snipping the buds into a salad. As the scapes ready to open and reveal the pompom-looking garlic bloom the stalk is going to get “woody.” Definitely an indicator that is should only be eaten cooked. Though, until then, my world is tenderly informed by this whisper of garlic.
Green Rice - serves 6
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
2 Poblano chilies - roasted, peeled and seeded, and cut into thin strips
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
6 garlic scapes - roughly chopped
1 cup Italian parsley - leaves only
1/2 cup cilantro - leaves only
1/8 cup mint - leaves only
1/3 cup vegetable Oil
1 small onion - finely diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put the rice into a bowl and pour very hot water over to cover; stir and let sit for 20 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water for a few minutes.
Place 1 cup of stock and garlic, parsley, cilantro, mint salt and pepper in the blender and process until liquefied.
Heat a 1 quart sauce pan over a medium-high heat and add the oil. Then add the rice and fry the rice for 5 minutes. Be sure to keep it moving as to not burn it. Add the onion and pablano chilies and continue cooking for a few minutes longer. Add the herb puree to the rice and reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot with a dampened cloth kitchen towel and lid cooking for 20 minutes. Remove the heat and let sit 15 minutes before serving.