Monday, June 29, 2009

White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip

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The season for garlic scapes is short so high-tail it to your local farmer’s market before you miss it.

Garlic what?

Garlic scapes.

That’s right. They’re the whimsically curly, top green parts of garlic that contain the flower shoots if left to grow. Farmers cut them to encourage plumper bulbs and they’re frequently sold next to “green garlic,” garlic that’s harvested before the individual bulbs or exterior paper skin begins to form.

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The green garlic is a cook’s dream – no peeling away a pesky outer layer because there is none – just slice off what you need and throw it into a pan, or chop it if called for. It’s a little milder than garlic that’s allowed to fully mature.

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The scapes themselves have a peppery, sharp bite to them and they can be cut in small pieces and cooked like green beans or asparagus. That will tame the flavor somewhat. But you can also use them raw wherever the pungent taste of garlic is welcome. Here it takes center stage in a white bean dip recipe from the New York Times. Since the garlic flavor is quite pronounced, it’s best enjoyed when everyone partakes. Otherwise, keep the breath mints handy.

1/3 cup sliced garlic scapes (3 to 4)

(If you can’t find garlic scapes, use 2 plump cloves of garlic)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, more to taste

Ground black pepper to taste

1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling

a sprig of rosemary

1. In a food processor, process garlic scapes with lemon juice, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Add cannellini beans (and rosemary if desired) and process to a rough purée.

2. With motor running, slowly drizzle olive oil through feed tube and process until fairly smooth. Pulse in 2 or 3 tablespoons water, or more, until mixture is the consistency of a dip. Add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice, if desired.

3. Serve in a bowl drizzled on top with olive oil, and more salt if needed. Good with crudites or small crostini.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This sounds like my kind of dip! I love cannelini beans.

  3. Linda,
    I made the same dip, and it was delicious!
    That was my first time with scapes.
    I love how pretty they are!
    What else can I do with them?

  4. Garlic scapes - I don't think I've ever seen these. I'll check more closely at my farmers market.

    I'm always on the lookout for something new. You dip looks delish.

  5. Hi Linda,

    I like this post a lot. The pic of the garlic scapes wrapped around the dip is fun and whimsical and the dip looks fantastic.

    I'm going to try to hunt down garlic scapes at the next farmer's market!


  6. What a cool and creative way to use garlic scapes! :)

  7. They need to start offering those over here, I have yet to see scapes even if I've seen fresh garlic. Same goes for rhubarb! You guys get all the gourmet stuff!

  8. Whoa...these photos are awesome! I've got to go & get some white beans...this dip sounds "right up my alley".

  9. I can never find garlic scapes here, I'm envious! That dip sounds yummy, I love white beans! Talk about food styling... Love that first photo!!

  10. The photos are breathtaking, like garlic scapes :-)

  11. Wish I could get more garlic scapes so I could make this dip (I made pesto with mine) - sounds excellent!

  12. You mak me want to try garlic scapes! I should try to find some :).

    Your dip sounds healthy and delicious :)

  13. Now that's very original and beautiful! :)

  14. I love garlic and I never heard of scapes--thanks! I'll be looking for them at the market.

  15. This garlic scapes always been so photogenic! Beautiful dip you created here Linda!

  16. I never find scapes here, but I'm going to have try harder to locate some. Your dip sounds great!

  17. I keep seeing amazing photos and recipes for garlic scapes. Yours sounds great - wish I could get my hands on some to try it out. : )

  18. I have been experimenting with garlic scapes for the first time this year and enjoying them. Using them in a white bean dip sounds good. Nice photo with the scapes wrapped around the dip!

  19. Your photos are stunning. And I love this recipe too. I've never seen garlic scapes over here, but will substitute cloves as you suggest. (Might we worth growing garlic just for these - they are so pretty.) Once again, congratulations on the photos.