Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wagon Scapes

I have never met my friend Kerry, and this recipe is for her.

Last summer I decided to try Twitter. One of the first people I found was one who blogs and tweets as Clue Wagon. We were both new to Twitter, and we quickly discovered that we really enjoy each other’s perspective on life. Go read her blog about genealogy. You’ll see; she’s a mensch.

Clue Wagon and I discovered garlic scapes at about the same time last year, I think. I remember sharing confusion and fascination with this absurdly curly vegetable. We swapped recipes. She sent me a nice pesto. I sent her a sauté of scapes and shrimp finished with white wine and served over cappellini. She told me she’s a vegetarian.

Damn it! I try so hard; I really do. I try to be open to the notion that not everyone will eat everything. I try not to assume. But it did not occur to me to wonder, much less ask, if Clue Wagon was into eating the not-kosher, not-halal, not-vegetable underwater bugs that shrimp essentially are. Crap!

I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Here’s the deal: cooked shrimp are a circle of savory yum. They meet the tooth with just the right amount of resistance. They are salty-sweet and meltingly delicious. I hate the thought of my friend missing out on an ingredient that creates this satisfying burst of flavor, but I’ll be damned if I can’t come up with something that isn’t a dead animal, too.

So, Kerry, please accept this recipe as my love song to vegetarians and food lovers everywhere. You’re at the top of the list.

Wagon Scapes
If you are a vegan, you could make these with gnocchi. It’s so gratifying to bite those. Rrrr!

Pan photo by Beth Berila

1 package cheese tortelloni (2-3 servings)
2-3 T olive oil
1 bunch (10 to 12) garlic scapes
1 bunch(6-8) green onions
½ lb crimini mushrooms
¼ to ½ c white wine, stock, or water
1 sprig each of sage, rosemary, parsley, and basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Set a pot of water to boil. Mince up the herbs. Cut the scapes into ½-inch pieces. Slice the white part of the onions and save the greens for some other use. Slice the mushrooms.

Pop dried tortelloni in the boiling water and give them a bit of a head start. If you’re using gnocchi and you are a multitasker, you can make them at the same time as the scapes. If you’re a one-track cook or you’re using fresh pasta, make them at the end.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the onions and garlic scapes and stir them around for a minute or two. Throw in the mushrooms. Stir until they release their juices.

Splash some of your liquid into the pan. Keep stirring until reduced and the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat. Finish your pasta, drain it, and put it in serving bowls. Spoon the vegetables on top. Sprinkle on the herbs and finish with salt and a grind of black pepper.



  1. This is like that one time when that actress chick won an Oscar or an Emmy or something, and she was in the bathroom. Except that she was wearing Spanx and I'm not. I was in Door County on vacation, so I am just now seeing this.

    I am picking up our very first CSA box of the season tomorrow, and I bet there will be scapes. I am totally making this this weekend.

    [sappy]Also, you are an awesome internet friend.[/sappy]

  2. Awww! [sappy]YOU are! <3[/sappy right back]


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