Make the best of scape season with this Vegan Garlic Scape Butter – you can slather it on anything, or use it as a sauté base.
If you read my post last week on the Garlic Scape Dal, you’ll remember how excited I was at having found garlic scapes in a supermarket that I was scouting for the first time. It was an absolutely accidental find, and I fell head-over-heels in love with this ingredient! But last weekend, while doing my routine produce shopping at my own regular supermarket, in the spot that was usually reserved for bok choy, what should I find but Garlic scapes, all neatly bundled up and packaged by the pound!!!
Grab them, I did, and this time, when I showed it to my husband (who,if you recall, was at best indifferent the last time I found scapes), he was just as thrilled as I was, and asked “Are u sure you only want to grab one bag?'” Ah, a man after my own heart! But still, I only took one. I knew that should a fellow scape-lover stumble upon a bag, it would brighten their day, just like it did mine. And it doesn’t hurt to spread a little joy around this world, does it? So I took just one and walked out feeling quite victorious, leaving behind the other bags to be found by other scape hunters.
The last time I posted on Instagram that I had found scapes, a lot of you sent me a bunch of suggestions on how best to use it – I made a list, and I’ll be checking them off one at a time. But first, we start with a garlic scape compound butter.
What is compound butter, you ask? Well, it’s just regular butter that’s been infused with added flavors, so that when you spread/slather it on your food, it’s not just butter, but much more than that. Imagine this: Garlic scape butter over popcorn. I could swoon right now!
You know that I’ve been doing this ‘one new thing a week’ for a while now. Every week, I pick up one thing from the supermarket that’s not on my grocery list, something I’ve never tried before. This week’s new thing was a small tub of Vegan butter! I got one with an olive oil base (heart healthy!) and it was just meant to be when I found the garlic scapes right after! The universe was directing me to make a Vegan garlic scape butter! And you always do whatever the universe wants, if ever you manage to listen to its voice.
Normally, garlic scape butter is made with raw garlic scapes, ground coarsely and mixed in with the butter. But when I made the Garlic scape Dal last week, I loved the flavor of slightly roasted scapes. And I wanted to replicate that taste in this compound butter as well.
My wedding reception was at the Hyatt Regency, and we got a complimentary night’s stay there. The morning after, we ordered room service, and while I cannot for the life of me remember what I ordered, there are two things about that breakfast I will not forget. The coffee- a carafe of the most perfect brew, almost as if they read my mind about how I liked my coffee. And the butter. Beautiful, individually wrapped and shaped like a creamy, smooth shell that melted at the slightest touch. It was so magical!
As I was blending the vegan butter with the ground up garlic scapes, I was reminded of that gorgeous shell-shaped butter. While my butter shaping skills are yet untested, my piping skills aren’t too bad. And a known devil is better than an unknown angel, they say. So I went with the devil and piped tiny swirls of the (Raw) Vegan Garlic Scape butter. While it wasn’t exactly as elegant as the shells, I have to admit, they were quite beautiful, in their own way.
Even at room temperature, it sort of keeps its shape and spreads quite nicely. And when toasted , I’m not sure if it’s because of the shade from the ground up garlic scapes, or the color added to the vegan butter, but the toast turns a slight shade of yellow, as if it’s been lightly kissed by turmeric. Just the right shade to bring a little sunshine to your morning toasts.
The next thing I wanted to try was a compound butter flavored with roasted garlic scapes. When baked in the oven, the scapes turned crisp, but more of a firm, solid kind of crisp. I needed to use my most powerful spice blender to pulverize them, and the aroma that wafted out of the blender as I unscrewed the lid was quite intoxicating. I believe I can find many, many uses for this powder. But let’s save that for another day.
And instead of just stirring this roasted garlic scape powder into the softened butter, as I did with the raw scapes, I decided to go another route. I melted the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds and stirred in the scape powder. Then I poured the flavored liquid into this mini ice cube tray (that I use to freeze herbs, ginger and garlic for faster meal prep).
Why? Because I had a feeling that this roasted vegan garlic scape butter (unlike the raw version) would work beautifully as a flavor base for pasta, soups, curries and stir-fry.
You could always do it the other way, or every time you make these, mix-n-match the techniques, and see which of the four versions you like the best! If you settle on a favorite, will you let me know in the comments below?
Needless to say, you can do this with regular butter too, and if you have no qualms with dairy, you must try this with the best butter you can get your hands on. I’m told that European butter has an exceptionally high amount of fat content and is quite delicious.
Once the butter is frozen solid, don’t forget to wrap them into individual packages using aluminium foil and store in the freezer in a freezable zipper storage bag. That way, none of the aromatics are affected by freezer burn.
And just before breakfast, take out only what you need and apply to warm toast! Me, I like to toast with the butter on, but since I don’t use a toaster, I can get away with it. Or throw a cube into soups and stocks, pasta and more – anything that you think will get a little oomph with just a smidgen of butter.