Smile Politely

Like an onion

Garlic scapes are the new bacon.

Well, not really. But they’re delicious. I mean, bacon is bacon. Although, with my current and hopefully long term goal of eating, cooking, and exercising to stay healthy… bacon might negate that whole aim. And all of my endeavors to be healthy(ish). So, in short, I try to stay away from bacon. I actually don’t eat much meat at all. I do love fish. But I don’t cook with meat. Flexitarian or Pescatarian perhaps?

I discovered garlic scapes on my most recent trip to the farmer’s market last weekend. I had seen them in the previous weeks I was there, but hesitated to buy them because I didn’t know how to prepare them. That was a mistake.

With their garlic aroma combined with the taste of a scallion, the garlic scape is akin to a garlic-flavored version of green onions. Except it’s green garlic. They actually do look a lot like scallions, with a long green slender shape. My current obsession with these seemingly harmless tubes of garlicky goodness is bittersweet, because they are seasonal and appear in the beginnings of summer.

So what did I do with my beloved garlic scapes?

I made fried rice. Well, so far. I still have some left, but I’ve already made two batches of fried rice with the scapes. I had leftover brown rice in the fridge, chopped up some scapes, tofu, and added some peas. Add oyster sauce, tamari, garlic salt, pepper, and pepper flakes, and you’ve got one beautiful batch of fried rice. The best part about making fried rice? The burnt rice at the bottom that you can scrape off and eat…closed eyes, blissful expression and all.

Yep, I kind of like food on the more “done” side. Or burnt. Whatever you want to call it. I know, I know, burnt food is carcinogenic and bad for you. But it’s so friggin’ good. In any case, food on the more “charred” side usually appeals to me. As do bread ends and the coveted edge pieces in a pan of brownies. The textural contrast is amazing. In the fried rice I prepared, the mixture of soft peas, al dente brown rice, and crunchy garlic scapes added enough contrast to keep the dish interesting (in addition to the burnt rice, of course).

One of my friends recently told me that I am like an onion, with many layers. I have many interests, many sides, am willing to try new things; he said this because some of my interests don’t seem to coincide with how I am perceived. Well, I said I try to eat healthy, yet my burnt food fascination may lead to health problems in the future. Everything in moderation, right?

Alas, though, I blame the garlic scapes. If not for them, I would not be on this making fried rice kick that leads me to eat the glorious burnt rice at the bottom that may in turn cause health problems later in life. So, in short, one obsession begets another more dangerous obsession to come about. I guess I know what I must do. Use up the rest of my garlic scapes. Until I can buy more next weekend.

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