Garlic scapes are the flowering seed heads and stems of hard neck garlic varieties. It used to be that farmers removed them to direct the plant's energy into developing the bulb rather than the seeds, and would discard them. At some point, an enterprising farmer thought the mildly-flavored scapes were a marketable novelty, and now they are popular seasonal treats at farmers markets. Incidental crops like these are often a win-win situation.
When harvested just as they begin to curl, the stems are tender and mild. By the time that the seeds begin to form, they harden and become tough. At that stage, I like to use them as skewers for grilled meats and vegetables, allowing heat to release their aroma and infuse the food from within.
This dish is loosely based on souvlaki, with deliberate Greek flavors. Instead of the ubiquitous oregano, I used winter savory (Satureja montana), an under-utilized perennial herb that tastes like a blend of thyme, pine, and lemon, to season the lamb and tzatziki.
The tzatziki was made with yogurt curds, which readily form when yogurt is gently heated to 170F/76C. The process is identical to making ricotta, but as the yogurt is already acidic, it doesn't require the addition of buttermilk. The curds are folded into coconut milk, along with savory, garlic and cucumber.
The ground lamb is blended with minced aromatics (savory, onion, garlic scapes) and coconut powder, then wrapped in a blanched fig leaf and grilled. I know that gif's are sometimes annoying, and even though these shots are overexposed, I thought that it effectively demonstrated the leaf-folding technique.
Actually, I'm kind of mesmerized by it. I'm alternately disturbed and amused by the furling and unfurling. As it folds up, I think "Silencing of the Lamb", then it pops open, exposing itself like a Cypriot burlesque queen.
I know that gif's are sometimes annoying, and even though these shots are overexposed, I thought that it effectively demonstrated the leaf-folding technique.