Sunday, July 24, 2011

snapshot: garlic scape butter

garlic scape butter
in a new job,
whether you've started with a
brand new business or are doing
the same thing in the same company
in a different place, like me, you're
always trying to find your way.

and that has definitely been me.
i've noticed that, i'm a bit different -
in several good ways, and some that
i'm working on. like this: i'm quieter.
i'm still getting to know everyone and
they're still getting to know the real me.

so, a few weeks ago, i think some people
had a shocking moment when i freaked out
(freaked!) after realizing that garlic scapes
were available and that i could buy as many
as i wanted for a very reasonable price.
it's true. when i was finished talking in a
run-on sentence about the tenafly farmer's market
and garlic scape pesto and looking everywhere for
more, i realized that i was not just having a conversation,
i was talking kind of loudly. and there was this,
somehow, i had gone from sitting to standing.

(clearly, if people want to get to know me,
they should wave an unusual piece of produce in
front of my face and watch what happens.)

when i got the scapes home, though, they sat
in the fridge for a while (ok, if you want the truth
there are still some in there. yes, i'm hanging my
head in shame.) i wanted to do something different
with them this time, but i could not figure out
what or how. then, i was driving home, thinking about
making garlic bread, and just like that:
garlic scape butter (and in turn, garlic scape bread)
popped into my head.

when i got inside, i pulled my
made up ingredients
out of the fridge
before even taking my pocketbook
off my shoulder.

i cut 4 garlic scapes into 2-inch pieces
and placed them into the bowl of the food processor;
i pulsed 5 or 10 times, until they were in tiny pieces,
before adding 1/4 cup of pecorino romano,
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, a couple generous pinches
of smoked paprika and 1 stick unsalted butter,
cut into large chunks. i let the food processor run
until everything was sort of smooth.

and i tasted it.
garlicky was an understatement. but, there was
no turning back at this point. i sprinkled in a touch
of kosher salt, whirled it around a few more times
and decided that i was committed.

so far, i've only spread it on lemon juice-drizzled,
bread and grilled it until it was nice and melty, which
i think is how this butter shines. i'm also sure i would
love it tossed with hot pasta, a bit of lemon and feta or
maybe used as a base for eggs, sunnyside-up.
i won't lie: it does need something
to temper its intense flavor.
but, as it goes with anything you're overly devoted to,
i've come to love this butter with bite. that doesn't mean
that if i made this again, or you were making it at home,
i'd be embarrassed to use only 3 garlic scapes.

that wouldn't make us wimps or shrinking violets.
it would just make us a bit...less in-your-face.
and, that's ok.
butter, pecorino romano, black pepper, garlic scapes

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