Scape Pesto and Rapini

This is the first time I have ever run into scapes and was left wondering what in the heck are these things. Mom was in town a few weeks ago and purchased a bunch of them. The whole time the darn things kept smacking me in the face as we were walking. Believe me, I wanted to escape from the scapes pronto!  As annoying as there were, O-M-G…hold onto your panites or boxers….the best pesto recipe is about to hit your screen.

Okay, before it does…let me explain what scapes are.  Picture a garlic bulb in the ground.  Out of that grows a green almost chive/scallion-like looking green stem.  Voila’- scapes!  They grow like crazy, totally unruly in the gardern, but that little garlic bulb is a teaser because the scapes are where it’s at.

Garlic Scape Pesto

10 garlic scapes, finely chopped

1/2 cup of Parmesan, finely grated

1/3 cup of slivered almond, chopped

1/2 cup EVOO

salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together and serve over some nice pasta.  I’ve seen other recipes on the internet.  Some people have used pine nuts or pistachios.  Thanks to Dorie Greenspan for the recipe.

Rapini or Broccoli Rabe

I’ve made rapini several ways. From sautee, to braise, to boil.  None of the results were really outstanding until I tried the super simple description given in The Frankies Spuntino Cooking Manual. This is the third recipe from that book that has turned out as a keeper. My mom is still talking about the escarole soup recipe. So you know this cookbook is worth the Andrew Jackson it will cost you!

Rapini

Ingredients:

1 bunch of broccoli rabe/rapini

1/4 cup EVOO

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

Pinch red pepper flakes (40,000 heat units!!! Oh Yeah!!)

Salt & pepper

Procedure:

1. Trim off the woody ends of the stalks and wash rapini in a colander under running H2O. Give a brief shake, but don’t dry off.

2. Heat EVOO in an 8″ saute pan over low heat.  After a minute, add the garlic and cook slowly, 8-10 minutes, until it has gone pale gold and is starting to turn brown around the edges.

3. Turn heat to medium-high and add red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds.  Add rapini.  Add a large pinch of salt and pepper.  Toss to coat and cover the pan and cook  for 4 minutes.

4. Remove the lid and toss the rapini again.  It should be wilted and greener than it was when it started. The H2O and EVOO should have melded together into a nice, juicy pan sauce.

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