lemony pork fillets + garlic scapes
Sometimes life just stumps you. Such was the case when these absolutely, incredibly, beautiful and delicate garlic scapes found their way into my kitchen and onto my plate. A friend of mine, Daleen gave me a bunch of these green little wonders and said that I needed to cook something with it. But there I was, utterly stumped. What was I going to do with these culinary flowers? They belonged in a pretty flower vase on the window sill surely? At first I thought the little buds on these slender green shoots were “onion flowers” and then with a wicked smile, Daleen informed me that they were actually garlic scapes or garlic flowers. I had never seen these little miracles before …Clearly, I need to get out more… Anyway, these flowers were just so fragile and perfect – long leafless stems with the little closed flowers on the top – and inside the flowers were the seeds of the garlic plant. It was another wonder of creation.
But how and what could I do with these edible creations? As always my weekly food journey starts with the world’s greatest encyclopedia, the internet. I read that the flower of the garlic plant is sometimes eaten and that it has a much milder flavour than the actual garlic bulbs. I read further that these seeds were mostly consumed while immature and still tender. This seemed to make some sense as the bottom part of the stem was rock hard. These stalks will be great in soups and stews.
I don’t know why but my mind took me to Asia when I saw them … a dish of greens and pork. That is what I eventually decided to do…. My secret for this recipe was to keep everything simple. The idea was to let the subtle garlic scapes infuse with lemon and then just let this flavour the greens and the pork. The delicate simplicity of the flavours makes this a genuinely blissful, if not whimsical combination.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
For the pork
300g Pork fillet
Juice of one lemon
1T Soya sauce
Black pepper for seasoning
Salt – if you need extra seasoning
Oil for frying in pan
For the garlic scapes
4-6 Garlic scapes (keep some whole and have some cut in halves) - use only a small piece of the stem and the flower
Fresh juice from 1/2 lemon
A bit of white wine - +- 50ml
Salt and pepper for seasoning
For the Asian greens
Asian greens for two people - I went to the Chinese market and got a variety of greens i.e. bok choy
1-2T Soya sauce
Oil for frying
Fresh juice from one lemon
Lemon infused olive oil to drizzle over your dish when cooked
1. For the pork: Add the oil to the pan and sear the fillets.
2. Then add your seasoning - pepper + lemon juice + soja sauce - fry the pork fillets on medium high heat till done.
3. Make sure your fillets are properly cooked through - but do not over cook. Add a bit of salt if you like.
4. For the scapes: Add butter to a medium hot pan.
5. Braise the garlic scapes till soft in butter and wine. This will take about 10 minutes.
6. Add the lemon juice and some salt and pepper for seasoning.
7. For the other greens: Heat a wok until it is very hot – add the oil and then the greens.
8. Flash fry the greens for a few minutees and add the soya sauce + lemon juice + pepper.
9. Taste for seasoning.
10. To serve: Add the greens to the plate.
11. Cut your pork and put that on top of the green.
12. Drizzle the juices of the pan over the pork + drizzle some lemon infused olive oil over the whole dish.
13. And then place some garlic scapes on top.