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Potato Salad with Garlic Scapes, Snap Peas and Scallions

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Garlic Scapes make
their appearance once
a year.

There are cooks who wait all year to work with Garlic Scapes, the flower bud of the garlic plant.  The bud is removed about this time every year to encourage the underground bulb to thicken up.  They taste like garlic and can be used in any recipe calling for the ‘stinking rose’.  That is what garlic has been called since Greek and Roman times.  The reason for the ‘stinking’ part is all too obvious.  But why the rose?  The plant is actually an allium which is part of the Liliaceae or lily family.  So where does the name come from?  One possibility is that if you look at garlic from underneath, the bulb does have a slight resemblance to a white rose with the large ends of the cloves forming its petals.   It seems to me that that’s a bit of stretch, but it doesn’t take away garlic’s unique contribution to cooking.  And this potato salad is a tribute to the relatively mild garlic flavor of the scapes and how they enhance the sweetness of the other key ingredients: potatoes and snow peas.


I found the recipe in Fine Cooking, developed by one of their writers, Jennifer Armentrout who is now the Editor of the magazine, undoubtedly because she came up with recipes like this one.  I made it almost exactly as directed, switching in red bliss potatoes for the recommended Yukon Golds.  However I would now make a change to the original having to do with the recommended way of dealing with the potatoes.  In the original, the suggestion is to cook them and then peel them and cut them into smaller ‘bite-sized’ pieces.  This is a dreadful job.  It would be far easier to peel and cut the peeled potatoes into large dice—3/4 to 1 inch dice prior to cooking them. Not only would this cut down on the cooking time of the potatoes, it  also has the effect of being able to dress them potatoes once they are cooked. The potatoes would then take on more flavor of the dressing.  So I highly recommend that change.  This potato salad has a great perfume from the garlic, mild onion flavor from the scallions, great crunch from the snow peas and a light dressing that makes the potatoes silken and creamy. Parsley and mint add color and a final hint of flavor. Here is the recipe:

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