Ireland’s heritage garlic – and ‘scapes’ tart recipe
Have you heard of Drummond House Garlic? No? Well let me tell you about it…
Drummond House Estate are the only producers of commercial heritage garlic in Ireland. They sell mainly to restaurants through Larousse. They are wildly celebrated by some of the best chefs in Ireland. They have also started to sell the Drummond House garlic products via some of the larger Dunnes stores.
Around July, you can find their garlic scapes if looking for a new frisson in the kitchen. I love the idea of garlic scapes. If you’ve never heard of them, they are simply the flower stalk and bulb of the garlic plant. They have the texture of a green bean and taste vaguely of asparagus, in that they are sweet and nutty, but with a gentle garlic finish.
They are very much a “new vegetable” in Ireland. It’s not that they didn’t exist before, but they weren’t marketed to the public. You would have found them every now and then in Asia supermarkets but they would have been imported from afar.
Drummond House garlic scapes are seasonal, fresh, local and are a great way for these producers to maximise their profits by introducing a new product to the market which otherwise would go to waste. This is exactly what Mag Kirwan did with her trout caviar over at Goatsbridge Trout Farm.
As the food movement in Ireland is gathering support and speed, now is the time to come up with the goods and the new ideas. Chefs are excited for our terroir products and want to help the small producer survive. They compete to come up with the best combination of local products.
My favourite restaurant is Michael’s of Mount Merrion. One of the things I love about that place is that a good 90% of the menu is built on Irish products. I’ve often chatted with the head chef, Gaz, who is a huge supporter of Drummond House garlic (and broccoli). I love that my money goes to a local business, which in turn supports the local producers. This is a happy food chain for me.
Scapes and tomato tart recipe
I could write so much more about this gorgeous Irish grown food, but instead, I’m going to show you what I did with the pack of scapes, I bought last week. I hope you enjoy it and that it makes you want to try it too.
- 1 large onion
- 1 pack of tallegio
- 1 handful of grated cheddar
- large cherry tomatoes
- 3 garlic scapes
- Make your pastry as per the recipe linked above.
- Pre-heat the oven
- While the pastry is chilling in the fridge, cut your onion thinly and fry it down gently until it is a lovely soft golden colour.
- Place the pastry in your dish and prick it with a fork. Add the fried onion shavings and cover the bottom of the pastry. Interspace tomatoes and taleggio bits (I removed the “skin” from the cheese). Add your handful of grated cheddar and place your Drummond House garlic scapes on top.
- Put it in the oven for about 30 min. Check after 20 min to see how it’s all doing. You’re looking for a golden bubbling cheesy top and a gloriously crisp crust.