The final product of this project was, to me, reminiscent of jars of formaldehyde, filled with dead snakes and sitting on the shelf of a biology classroom.
Now that I’ve whetted your appetite, let me lure you further by emphasizing the ease of creating garlic scape olive oil. I got the idea from a Martha Stewart magazine recipe for garlic infused olive oil, but altered the recipe considerably as I experimented with it. Despite a maybe concerning first impression, the oil is actually tasty and quite versatile.
I began by heating up 32 ounces, or 4 cups, of olive oil. I used organic olive oil that I purchased at Ocean State Job Lot (where it’s much less expensive than from the grocery store). I let the oil heat up over medium heat in a saucepan while I rinsed the garlic scapes, along with several pieces of regular garlic. I used the regular garlic because I was concerned the scapes themselves wouldn’t add enough flavor on their own. I added all of it to the heated oil and let it cook, at a very low simmer, for about a half hour. I kept an eye on the garlic scapes and let the whole mixture cook until they looked softened, but not fried. As the oil cooled off the stove, I used a slotted spoon to scoop out the regular garlic and put it aside for a stir fry I made for dinner. Before pouring the oil in to the jars, I dangled one garlic scape in to each jar, allowing it to naturally spiral in to the jar. Once the oil was cooled enough that I wouldn’t be seriously scalded by a spill, I poured it in to four sterilized eight ounce canning jars. Since I was making only four jars, I chose not to go through the process of preserving these jars.
This oil can be used to dress a variety of salads (think pasta or quinoa), but may be best put to use in cooked dishes such as baked chicken or roasted potatoes. I made this infused olive oil for the last Food Swap* and sadly did not keep any of it for myself (but came home with a whole bunch of fun items I had traded it for!). Since it was so easy though, I plan to make some again while scapes are still in season and this time will keep some for my own cooking adventures.
*As a happy recipient of said oil, I have been very pleased. I keep it in the refrigerator and I use it on everything. This week alone I used it as my cooking oil for fried rice, drizzled some on eggs & arugula, and threw some into a pasta dish with lamb as a finishing touch. The flavor is mellow, but there. Very nice swap idea Alexis! -Christina