Basil Scape Compound Butter
Scapes are one of our favorite garden by-products. These long curly stems grow out of garlic plants and contain seeds in the bulbous head. Growers remove them to concentrate the plants energy on the bulb, rather than on the developing seeds. We love them because they’re fun looking, delicious, versatile and tell us our garlic plants are on the right track and we’ll soon have full heads to harvest. For those of you who have never tried scapes, they have a wonderful mild garlic flavor and can take the place of garlic or scallions in most dishes. We use them in stir frys, quiches, on pizza, or just grilled like you would asparagus. We especially prize them because they have a very short season (at least around us). Making them into a compound butter is a great way to store the scape flavor for future use after their season is over. Frozen, this butter can last you all winter and into the next scape season. That is, if you can resist eating it on everything and using it all up in a matter of days…
We’ve found endless uses for this butter over the past few weeks. We’ve made scape garlic bread, scape bruschetta, scape pizza with arugula and goat cheese, and we’ve topped steamed vegetables with scape butter to make them more exciting. We love the intense scape flavor, which allows us to use it sparingly, however, if you find this recipe too concentrated just bring the butter back to room temperature, and stir in more room temperature butter to dilute the intensity.
Basil and Scape Compound Butter
(makes one half cup)
You may use salted or unsalted butter for this recipe. We like to use salted butter for most everything so that’s what we went with.
1 stick of good quality butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
1/4 cup parsley, stems removed
1/4 cup basil, stems removed
6 scapes, roughly chopped
Wash and thoroughly dry scapes, basil and parsley.
Blend your herbs and scapes in a food processor or blender until they are finely chopped. Add half of your butter and pulse until well blended. Cook this mixture in a skillet over medium heat for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and pour into a glass or ceramic container, then add your remaining butter. Stir until the entire mixture melts and melds together, then pour into desired container for storage and refrigerate or freeze until solid.
If you are making a bunch for future use, we recommend freezing some of it in ice cube trays as you would extra pesto, so that you can easily heat up a small amount later.