by Ellen Laing
Garlic Scape Aioli
Garlic scapes are the stem and flower bud of the garlic plant. Farmers remove the scape in the spring in order to prevent flowering, because the plant will then concentrate its energy reserves on producing bigger cloves of garlic. Scapes can be eaten raw or cooked, and they have a lovely mild, fresh, ʻgreenʼ flavor. Traditional aioli is simply garlic,salt and oil. But I like the flavor of the mustard, egg yolk & lemon…and it makes the emulsion (of garlic & oil) a little less finicky.
This recipe could be made with a food processor or immersion blender, but it would be a good idea to double the recipe in order to create enough volume for the machine to work with. Machine technique is pretty much the same. However, doing it by hand in a mortar & pestle only takes about 5 minutes and itʼs immensely satisfying. Itʼs delicious with fresh bread, spring turnips, radishes, potatoes, fish…almost anything.
2 Tbsp garlic scapes, finely chopped
zest of one lemon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 egg yolk (Deck Family Farm)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/2 C. fine quality olive oil
(additional lemon juice and/or warm water)
In a mortar & pestle, put the garlic scapes, lemon zest, salt & mustard. Mash them all together so that it starts to look a pale green color and there arenʼt pieces of garlic that are too big.
Add the yolk, lemon juice & pepper, and mash it uniform. Start dripping in the olive oil while mixing, slowly at first, working your way to a steady drizzle.
If you accidentally add too much oil and you can see it start to separate, just stop pouring and give your stirring a boost for a second, and continue. If you don’t want to use all of the oil, that’s fine – it’ll just be a little thinner and have more of a pronounced garlic flavor. It should be pretty thick and a much paler green than what you started with.
Taste & adjust the flavoring as necessary – maybe a little bit more lemon juice or salt…and you can thin the consistency with a little bit of warm water at the end if you like.