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Just what the heck is a garlic scape? Add to ...

What: These strange-looking, curly, deep-green stalks are the shoots that grow from garlic bulbs. They are a bit like asparagus in texture, but have a distinct garlicky taste that's a little milder than the bulbs.

When: Usually available within a three week window between mid-June and mid-July across the country, according to UBC Farm at the University of British Columbia.

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How: We asked Lynn Crawford, chef of Ruby Watchco, a restaurant in Toronto known for its homey farm-to-table dishes how she likes to prepare them:

"A lot of people don't know much about them. They're these really crazy, unusual, powerful, passionate vegetables. They've got a lot of flavour to them, so they're perfect in any marinade for barbecue. Pestos are wonderful. You can do pesto on any grilled vegetable or fish. It's halibut season now, right? So a lovely, big halibut filet with a garlic scape pesto is yummy-delish.

"Just take a few garlic scapes, get a really great cold-pressed canola oil. Take some whole almonds and toast them up. Then mix all of those ingredients together. Get a mitt-full of fresh basil in there. Whisk that around with salt and fresh-cracked pepper. Add a touch of lemon juice and a touch of lemon zest. Rub the halibut with oil, salt and pepper, and grill it. At the last minute, just slather on the pesto. You get all the flavours popping out, it's just delicious."

 

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