June 14, 2012

Garlic Scape and Bean Risotto

We've been enjoying our garden this year and most of what we planted seems to be doing well (so far). All the rain last week has given everything a boost and it's exciting to see actual green things growing so I know we aren't just tending to dirt patches!

This week I picked our garlic scape's, it's our first year with garlic and I may have let them go a little long because I later read that you're supposed to get them before they start to curl. No matter, they were absolutely delicious and I was captivated by the forms of those long curls.

I decided to make a dish that would require a little more cooking just in case the scape's weren't as tender. This risotto is a new favorite- the subtle garlic flavors and creamy butter beans with herbs, heavenly. Now I need to find room to plant even more garlic next year because I need more of those scape's!

Garlic Scape and Butter Bean Risotto:
  • 1 qt vegetable stock
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups risotto rice (I prefer carnaroli)
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 8 garlic scape's, trimmed to 1/4 inch lengths (a generous 1/2 cup)
  • 16 oz soaked or canned butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 c parmesan cheese, grated
  • fresh herbs (I used about a tbs of thyme and sage)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a small heavy bottomed pan. Reduce the heat and simmer very low throughout the cooking process.

Trim the flower heads off of the garlic scape's and chop in to 1/4 inch lengths.

Heat a large heavy bottomed pan over medium heat and add butter and olive oil. Add the garlic scape's and cook, stirring for 3-5 minutes until tender.

Add the rice and stir for about a minute. Add the wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add one ladle of vegetable stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process, adding the stock a ladle at a time and stirring for 10 minutes.

Add the butter beans and continue to add stock a ladle at a time and stir until the rice is tender, about another 8 minutes.

Add one final ladle of stock, the fresh herbs, cheese, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let sit covered for about 5 minutes.

Finish each bowl with some extra chopped herbs and pepper. A perfect meal for a rainy summer day.

We are very slowly working on our skills with utensils in this house. We still prefer fingers but we do have the best success with risotto because of the stickiness of the rice. I know a lot of kids have already mastered this at a year and a half, but I still find it very impressive to see my little man dig in with his fork. So sophisticated!

I just wish that there were more of these delightful garlic scape's to enjoy. They are definitely going on my list of favorite summer treats. If you can find them at your market (and we did see some at a farmer's market out in Chicago), do give them a try, such yummyness.


  1. This looks absolutely delicious! Great pictures too. I've never heard of garlic scapebut it looks like a very interesting ingredient.

  2. I love garlic scapes a lot, haven't seen it in two years though... Lovely risotto, I can smell the garlic, and sage, and thyme...:)

  3. I can't believe I've never even heard of garlic scapes but now I'll be on the lookout! This risotto looks amazing.

    I'm still impressed when my guys use a fork or spoon because they still prefer using their hands!


  4. This looks delicious...love these photos, beautiful simplicity :)

  5. Wow. This looks unbelievable! I saw garlic scapes at the Farmers Market yesterday in Brookline but have never bought them as they seemed intimidating. You may have just given me the confidence I needed to buy them!

    Gorgeous photos!

  6. This looks so good! And I had no idea about the curly scapes- the only ones I have every worked with have been curly!

  7. It's so great to grow things yourself. I should probably get on that! We haven't even planted flowers yet. Your recipe looks amazing!