the greatest scape fish taco

Jeanne here.

We got home Saturday afternoon after a week-long road-trip to discover these beautiful “flowers” in the garden!

garden scapes When we left last week, they were strait as an arrow, and the “flower” was just a small nub on the end of the stalk.  Six days later and they are crazy-curled-bulb-like and gorgeous.

Time to harvest the scapes!

Scapes are the flowering stalks on hard-neck garlic.  You’re probably seeing them at your local farmers markets these days … or in the veggie sections of specialty food stores like Whole Foods.

Garlic scapes are great fun to look at, and even more excellent to cook with.  They taste just like garlic, but have a more mild and delicate flavor.  They can easily be used as a garlic replacement … just finely chop them as you might chop a scallion and use liberally.  They are more fibrous than green onions, though, so make sure it’s a fine chop.  Use them to infuse oil, or in hummus or in quinoa or pasta or in stir fries.  Experiment.  And appreciate this newish culinary trend!

There’s some controversy about whether one should actually harvest the scapes on hard-neck garlic or if one should let them grow.  Some say that harvesting the scapes (just after they curl and plump) will allow the plant to focus its energy on growing the bulb, so you get bugger bulbs.  Some say that it doesn’t affect the size of the bulb, but might stress the plant.

I don’t know the real truth here.  But one of the books I used as a reference suggest that when growing garlic in colder climates (like Montana), it’s better to harvest the scapes just after they curl, let the garlic grow for another week or 10 days, harvest the garlic and then cure it for 2 weeks before storing the bulbs.

The downside of harvesting is that one way to tell garlic is ready to harvest is to wait until the scapes turn fibrous and brown.

The upside is that it basically doubles the garlic goodness you get from each plant.

I (obviously) harvested the scapes.  (To harvest a scape, use sharp scissors and remove the flower just above the top most leaf.)

I planted 19 bulbs last october and harvested 15 scapes.

Not too shabby!

But now what?

Well … there was a beautiful wild-caught cod filet at the Co-op last night.

The nice thing about cod is that it’s not an overly “fishy” fish … and our kids LOVE it … although I’m going to admit that it was a bit of a “discussion” to get our girl to try it last night.  One bite in and she was smitten and ate every bite.  But there was definitely a discussion. 😉

We had a fresh ear of corn left by our house-sitter.  Some Mexican fermented veggies, a little leftover Sonora bean puree, homemade taco sauce, and a little queso fresco in the fridge.

DINNER!

scape fish taco

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 filet of wild-caught cod (bones removed, cut into four smaller filets)
  • 2 garlic scapes (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 pat of pasture butter
  • Juice from half a lemon or lime
  • 6 small to medium flour tortillas
  • Refried beans (we use Diane Kennedy’s Sonora Bean Puree recipe … page 156-157 … and keep them in the fridge to use as needed, but any refried beans will work.)
  • Mexican fermented veggies (any flavorful non-mayo cabbage salad/cole slaw will work here)
  • 1 ear of corn (kernels off the cob)
  • Taco sauce
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper (to taste)

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the oil and butter a large cast iron skillet.  Add the chopped scapes and heat for a minute or two.

Pat down the cod with paper towel and salt & pepper both sides of the fish.

Carefully add the fish to the hot oil and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side (until fish becomes opaque).

While the fish is cooking, heat the beans in a small pan.  Heat the tortillas.  We heat them one at a time over the flame from one of the burners (about 5 seconds per side … really fast and really easy), but can also wrap them in a towel and heat them in a warm oven for 7-10 minutes.

After turning the fish, , sprinkle with the juice of half a lemon and then start to prepare the tortillas.  A smear of beans, a tablespoon of slaw, a tablespoon of corn kernels … top with the cooked fish, taco sauce and avocado and dig in!

makes about 6 tacos

We’re linked up:

Kelly the Kitchen Kop
This Chick Cooks
Domestic Superhero

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