Beautiful, local lettuces and garlic scapes are everywhere right now. They all taste so fresh, sweet and mineral-y. I’ve been pulling out a head of leaf, romaine or boston lettuce daily and eating the whole thing. Vegetarian stereotype: I actually LOVE salad. If the right dressing is involved and the add-ins are good, it’s a pretty amazing thing. The composition is key though! It’s like a vegetable sundae, all of the components have to be in place.
Dressing is arguably the make or break factor most times. I have one all-purpose concoction that I use very frequently. It’s pleasant enough that I’ll make one large batch for a week and put it on steamed vegetables, salads, warm grains with avocado, sauteed greens, dip bread in it, you get the idea. It’s good. The white wine vinegar and agave give it some light sweetness, while a bit of garlic loans pungency. We have so many garlic scapes in the gardens right now so I subbed in two them for my usual garlic clove.
Garlic scapes are a bit of a silly looking vegetable that frequently appear in CSA deliveries around this time of year or earlier. Their green, curly shoots emerge from garlic bulbs in mid to late spring and have to be clipped off to direct the growing energy to the bulb under the soil. They taste just fine sliced up and sauteed with other vegetables or worked into a pesto. I loved them in this dressing though. Mild, green garlic taste and a really pretty, sage green colour that looks so fresh.
garlic scape dressing
serves: makes about 1.5 cups of dressing
notes: I would only recommend doing this with the scapes if you’re making the dressing in a blender. Otherwise, stick with a finely minced clove of garlic. Depending on how long they’ve been around, garlic scapes can be quite fibrous so just use the more tender parts. Also, I use grapeseed oil here because its neutral flavour doesn’t overpower the scapes.
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup filtered water
1 tsp salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp light agave (or honey)
2 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
3/4 – 1 cup grapeseed oil (I tend to like dressing more on the acidic side so I lean to the 3/4 cup measure)
Combine the vinegar, water, salt and pepper in the blender pitcher. I like to add the salt with the vinegar so that it gets a head start on dissolving. Then, add the dijon, agave and garlic scapes. Blend the contents until the scapes are more or less pureed.
Put the blender on a low speed, remove the top feeding lid and slowly drizzle in the oil with the motor running until the dressing is thoroughly combined and creamy. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.