Garlic Scape and Pillage

When Edward Levesque told me about his scapes, I said, “Capers?”
“No. Garlic scapes,” he said more clearly, explaining the condiment is a pickled alternative to your caesar’s stale celery stick. Edward has a wall of these snake-like veggies in jars at his Leslieville restaurant. You can take one home for $8.
I’d never heard of garlic scapes before, the flower of a garlic plant. They sounded so pretty, so powerful, so pungent. 

The owner of Edward’s 1290 is known for his elaborate use of farm fresh herbs and spices, so when I asked him to tell me about some special seasonings and sauces made in-house, I expected to hear about blueberry chutney or basil mayo, not this bright green thing he dangled in front of my face and dared me to eat. 
We were talking about about food without seasoning and he had an expression of horror on his face. 

“Don’t feed it to me,” he says. 
Every dish at Edward’s 1290 comes with a dash of remarkable flavour, but garlic scapes are probably the most distinctive.
Edward has friends in green places where fresh ingredients come in abundance.
“The other advantage I have over the housewives is that I have a full kitchen,” he says, explaining his knack for pickling so many veggies, including beets and green tomatoes. “If you’re going to make four liters you might as well make 400.”
At home, he says, you can grill scapes, make scape soup, stir fry with scapes or make scape pesto. Here is a recipe for garlic scape hummus.
Savoury Scape Hummus
2 cans of chick peas, drained
1 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh chopped garlic scapes
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on high until it becomes a thick paste. Salt to taste.
Edwards 1290 is located at 1290 Queen Street East, Toronto. 


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