Love and Olive Oil

Garlic Scape Beef Satay

Garlic Scape Beef Satay

For the past few weeks we’ve almost had more garlic scapes than we can use. Almost. With each weekly handful, we’ve continued to find new and unusual ways to make the most of them while they’re still around. Like this recipe, that actually uses the tough (often inedible) portions of the scape as a skewer. Not sure if it actually infuses any garlic flavor into the meat, but it sure makes for a cool presentation. Besides, the meat itself gets plenty of flavor from the marinade, which is, like, totally herbaceous, dude. And pretty gosh darn delicious too. I can envision it being used on other meats or tofu for stellar results.

Cilantro Mint Basil Marinade

I do have to comment on the proliferation of beef in our diet recently (if you could call once every week or two a proliferation). I’ve never really trusted supermarket beef. We’ve gotten one too many wonky smelling steaks, and so we just stopped buying it. But then, a little while back, we discovered this farm. Walnut Hills. After seeing them for a few weeks in a row at the farmers’ market, we had to give it a try. Ever since, we’ve been ‘treating’ ourselves to a piece of beef every week or so, purchased directly from the farmers themselves. This is like the opposite of mystery meat. Grass fed. Local. Antibiotic and hormone free. And not wonky. The way beef should be.

For what it’s worth, because I know a fair share of vegetarians/vegans read this blog too… we’ve eaten vegan meals the past two nights. Granted, unintentionally, but we enjoyed it just as much as we did this satay. In fact, maybe I’ll just go ahead and post one of those vegan dishes next. Offset the meatiness. Because we really just aim to please… ourselves. Heh.

Garlic Scape Beef Satay

Makes 2-3 servings. Adapted from The Runaway Spoon.

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6 garlic scapes
1 pound sirloin tips

1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
10 mint leaves
10 basil leaves
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil

Peanut Sauce:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional)


Make scape skewers by cutting off the woody bottoms (typically the straight portion of the scape). Trim the ends into sharp points. Set aside.

Cut three of the scape tops and the ginger into small pieces and drop in a blender or food processor. Add the lime juice, cilantro, mint and basil leaves and the soy sauce. Blend until a rough paste forms. Depending on how woody your scapes are, this may take a little while. With the blender running, drizzle in the sesame oil and blend until smooth. Pour the marinade into a ziptop bag and add the beef cubes. Seal the bag and shake to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours, turning periodically.

To prepare the peanut sauce, cut the remaining three scapes tops into small pieces and add to the food processor with other ingredients. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl or serving dish and set aside. If it makes too much sauce for you, you can freeze a portion of it to use another time.

Heat a heavy cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Thread 4-5 pieces of the beef onto each skewers. If needed, you can cut a small slit in each beef chunk to slide the skewer through. Cook the skewers until the beef is cooked through, about 10 minutes total, rotating as needed for even cooking.

Top skewers wtih peanut sauce and garnish with chopped peanuts, if desired.

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  1. Such a clever use of garlic scapes! I am actually hosting a garlic scapes linky party at as part of our Fresh Produce Tuesday series. I would love if you submitted this recipe!


  2. Just found this – thanks so much for the shout out and I am glad you enjoyed the satay! Always nice to find another use for yummy garlic scapes! Thannks!

  3. I popped out my herb ice cubes from the tray and put them in a baggie in the freezer. I just used some herb ice cubes, put them in a bowl and defrost in the microwave, and used them to flavor a chicken I roasted. It was really close to fresh herbs. I used to make pesto and keep them in a tupperware in the freezer, but I had to keep defrosting it just to use a few spoonfuls. Then, years ago, I heard that Martha Stewart (a joke perhaps) said if you have any good wine left over, don’t let it go to waste, make ice cubes out of the wine and use the good wine ice cubes to cook with. Well, my foodie friends than asked if the wine is so good, why would have any left over Martha! Anyway, that is where I got the ice cube herb idea.

  4. I like the idea of skewers!

    I have garlic scape and olive oil ice cubes in my freezer to use the garlic scapes later. I just blend up scapes and EVOO and put them in ice cube trays. I pop out the ice cubes 1 or 2 at a time when I want them to cook with. I do that with basil and oregano and EVOO too. It is almost like having fresh herbs all year round.

    OK, I just got a 1/2 gallon of JD milk and I got a lemon… Ricotta here I come!

  5. Love the idea of using the woody portion of the scape as a skewer. We’ve gone through a similar change in our diet and eat meat at least once a week now that we’ve found a farm we trust. I love beef again!

  6. Just had to tell you, your post today actually made me laugh out loud – especially the last sentence.

    I’ve been wary of beef for awhile too, and I’ve been looking for new sources. I live in Nashville, and I was wondering which farmers market you go to for the beef? I’ve seen a couple of different farmers at the Franklin market, but that one’s a hike for us. I know I could probably google the answer myself, but I’d love your opinion/suggestion on where to look! Thanks :)

    • We go to the downtown Farmers’ Market off of Rosa Parks. We usually go Saturday mornings, not sure if the beef folks are there on other days. There’s a couple of beef stands there, but the folks at Walnut Hills are so nice we just keep going back to them. :) If you go Saturday, JD Country Milk is a great source we’ve found for dairy. Delicious milk and cream in cool glass bottles.

  7. These look terrific! I have been looking for a good peanut sauce recipe – I am going to definitely try yours. Have a wonderful 4th of July holiday!!!

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