Garlic scapes

Individual fennel and garlic scape quiche

One of the first things I started missing after moving overseas was going to the market with my mum and my grandmother. Every two weeks, we would meet at the markets at 6am(!) and pick up produce for our respective households. So of course, when I moved to Seattle I started looking for a market that I could go to on the weekends. However, I arrived in Seattle in the middle of winter. Back home we would go to the markets year round, so it initially surprised me that so few farmers' markets were even open. I eventually found one that was open and went often, picking up root vegetables, apples and citrus to my hearts content. When spring first hit Seattle, I understood what everyone was waiting for. Within a few weeks, the markets had completely transformed. Every week I came home with bags full of gorgeous produce, including some new ingredients I had never even seen before. 

Garlic scapes were one of those new discoveries. Scapes are the flower stalk of bulb garlic and are usually cut off and discarded to direct more energy to developing the bulb. When I first spotted them they looked so interesting and I just had to try them. I asked the stallholder for tips on how to use them as I didn’t even know where to start. The advice I got was simple – substitute them anywhere you would usually use bulb garlic, just use more of them! Their flavour is quite mild and sweet compared to the bulb and I am well and truly hooked. I’ve now tried them several different ways including in a savoury vegetable tart, on a simple caprese pizza, and now in a quiche. I think my next plan with scapes will be to try a garlic scape pesto, but unfortunately I’ll have to wait till next year now as their season is quite short. 

This recipe could also be altered to make a full size quiche. Just multiply the ingredients by 3-4, depending on the size of your dish. 

Ingredients
two sheets filo pastry (If you can make your own, brilliant. I’ve never tried and therefore use store bought)
two eggs
three garlic scapes
handful of herb fennel
100g goats cheese
balsamic vinegar to serve

 
 

Method
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
Lightly grease a small pie or quiche dish.
Fold the filo sheets to fit your dish (mine worked well each folded into uneven quarters). Make sure the edges don’t match up perfectly; otherwise they won’t get as crispy.
Roughly blitz the garlic scapes in a food processor. Alternatively, finely chop or grate the scapes.
Roughly chop the herb fennel.
Stir the eggs, goat’s cheese, scapes and fennel together.
Pour this mixture into the pastry case.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 15 minutes, until the centre has only a slight wobble.
Cool the quiche slightly – I find they are always better when warm, rather than piping hot.
Finally, drizzle the top with good balsamic vinegar and serve with a side salad and a glass of crisp white wine. I served mine with this delicious radish couscous salad.