Checking out the new additions at the farmer’s market on Saturday, I was excited to see garlic scapes. A first for me last year, I immediately fell in love with their mild garlic flavor and versatility—soups, pesto, eggs, salads—scapes in everything—that is, for the short amount of time they are available.
The flower buds of the garlic plant, scapes are cut from the plants in late June to encourage the bulbs to thicken up. They are long and curl into a loop when cut and are sold in bunches of the most beautiful shade of green. Odd looking, but oh so pretty at the same time.
Wanting to use the scapes in a different way, I turned to Google for some ideas and stumbled across a Food52 recipe for this beef satay recipe that uses scapes as skewers. Genius! Something I never would have thought of, but now makes so much sense—why NOT an edible skewer?
My go-to veggie substitute for steak is the meaty portabella mushroom, so that was swapped for the round steak. I tweaked the marinade recipe a bit and used a different satay sauce, and the result was fantastic! In fact, I may use this as my regular marinade for portabella burgers from now on—the flavors just sing!
You can make the satay sauce a day or two ahead of time, or make it while the mushrooms are marinating. I poked each mushroom quarter with a metal skewer to create a hole and then threaded the end of the scape through that I had cut into a point. A couple mushrooms broke, so I just grilled them separately next to the skewers.
Grilled Mushroom Satay with Garlic Scape Skewers
6 garlic scapes
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Juice of one lime
Small handful of cilantro leaves
About 10 mint leaves
About 10 Thai basil leaves
1/4 cup tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 large portabella mushroom caps, stems removed and gills scraped out, and cut into quarters
Make scape skewers by cutting 8-9 inches off the non-flower bud end of six garlic scapes. Trim one end of each scape into a point. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the marinade, cut 3-4 of the remaining portion of the scapes into small pieces (discard the wide part, which is the flower bud). Place in the bowl of a food processor and add the ginger, lime juice, cilantro, mint, Thai basil leaves and the tamari. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, drizzle in the sesame and grapeseed oils and blend until combined.
Pour the marinade into a large zip-lock bag and add the portabella mushroom quarters. Seal the bag and gently toss everything around to coat the mushrooms. Refrigerate for several hours, turning several times (alternately, marinate at room-temperature for about an hour, tossing occasionally).
While mushrooms are marinating, make the Spicy Satay Sauce (recipe below).
Heat gas grill to medium high (or charcoal grill to the equivalent). Poke the mushroom quarters with a metal skewer and then thread through the hole formed by the metal skewer with the scape skewers, using three mushroom quarters per garlic scape skewer.
Place the skewers on a pan designed for cooking items that might fall through the grates on a grill. Grill until the mushrooms are cooked through, turning about every 2 minutes in order to cook evenly, for a total of about 10 minutes, basting occasionally with remaining marinade.
Serve drizzled with Spicy Satay Sauce. Makes 4 skewers.
Spicy Satay Sauce
1/3 cup tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
¼ cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon minced ginger root
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon Asian chili paste (like Sambal Oelek)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Whisk together all sauce ingredients in a bowl until combined. Serve at room temperature. Leftovers will keep a couple weeks in the fridge.