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All In The (Allium) Family

cole slaw with buttermilk dressing

Chives and garlic scapes are on the menu today. First, we experiment with three different types of chives in a buttermilk salad dressing. And then, we're already looking ahead to the cold months by preserving the subtle taste of garlic scapes in an easy recipe for garlic salt.

All In The Family

Onions, scallions, leeks, garlic, chives – all members of the allium family – along with some 850 other species!

A tip when foraging for members of the allium family: use your nose! Any plant that smells like onions is edible, and not toxic to humans. Rodents and deer, on the other hand, don't like plants in the allium family. So, you can plant onions or garlic in your garden as a form of natural pest control.

Spring Buttermilk Dressing

makes 1 quart vinaigrette


  • 2 poached (or boiled) eggs
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/4 cup domestic chives (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup wild chives (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup garlic chives (chopped)
  • 3 cups loosely packed herbs (fennel and chervil)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon brunoise (lemon zest finely diced)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup olive oil


  • Blend the eggs, mustard, herbs, chives, lemon brunoise, garlic, salt, sugar, and buttermilk.
  • Add oil and lemon juice and blend again until smooth.

Cooking With Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are the stems of the garlic plant, the thing that would turn into a flower if left alone. Breaking off the scapes allows the garlic plant to strengthen its bulb, so you're helping out the plant in the process. You can cook them like scallions (in stir fries, in pestos, etc.).

Garlic scapes do not have the same heat as regular garlic cloves or a mature garlic plant would have. So, you can use those chopped up in stir fries and eat the whole thing and not worry about over-cooking them.

Here's another way to use garlic scapes. This recipe is so simple that you won't even have to write it down.

Garlic Scapes Into Garlic Salt

Roughly chop 10-12 garlic scapes. Add the garlic scapes, along with 2 pounds of kosher salt, to the food processor. Then, run the processor until you no longer see chunks of garlic. Spread the garlic salt on a cookie sheet, and then bake it in a 250-degree oven.

"You don't want to put it on too high of heat or you'll lose that great green color," Chef Orr warned.

Once the salt has dried out in the oven, pulse it in a food processor once more. Put the salt in jars and enjoy it as seasoning for your food throughout the winter.

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