There I was trawling through my Google reader feeds when I came across the revelation. I clicked on Dorie Greenspan and I looked up at husband and said "That's it!". He peered back over his tea with bleary what now crazy woman face. Now go look at that link, she had made a gorgeous fresh pea green garlic scape pesto. I don't know why it had never occurred to me to use these gently garlicky tops in a pesto, but I knew I had a bag of them in my upstairs fridge just itching to be used.
I took them to work that day and using her recipe as a jumping point, I made mine with the traditional toasted pine nuts and a mix of Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheese. When the pesto sits for a few hours for the flavours to mingle and you taste it, there is the immediate punch of garlic and then the fresh green vegetal taste of the scapes, the garlic mellows quickly and the stuff is completely and utterly addictive. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but the next morning while I was picking up a few items for class at Whole Foods the idea struck.
I had a late night ahead of me and wouldn't get home until at least 8:00, so I did the lazy man's thing and bought one of their pre-made pizza doughs and I thought about pizza combos over the day.
When I finally got home I raided the fridge and decided on the toppings while I heated up the grill.
I had some Il Tartufo (Pecorino with Truffle) and a few other odds and ends hiding out in the cheese drawer so I grated them fine, I tore up a few fresh mozzarella balls, sliced some sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil and sliced a few tissue paper thin slices of guanciale that I quickly rendered in a pan to make them slightly crisp like bacon. I pulled my dough into shape and got a big spatula ready.
When the grill was screaming hot I poured some canola in a bowl and dipped in a paper towel and using tongs I ran this over the grill grates. Once the oil dries I did it a second, third, and forth time. I read this tip in Cooks illustrated and it really does help to make it non-stick like seasoning a cast iron pan.
I plopped the dough onto the grill and after a minute I started sliding my large thin metal spatula under the edges to loosen it, after another 30 - 40 seconds I flipped the dough and gave the second side the same treatment. You are just setting the dough at this point.
I slid it off the grill onto a sheet pan and put on the toppings, leaving the cheese off until it was in place on the grill.
I carefully slid it back on the grill and put on the cheese, turned the heat down and capped it with the sheet pan. My indoor grill has a flat lid, not a domed one, so I have to come up with tricks to cover things.
Every few seconds I would peek to see if it was ready.
The heat under it is low so the crust doesn't get killed, but the toppings get enough heat to finish melting and the dough finishes cooking through. After 1 - 2 minutes I slid it off onto a board and dinner was done.
Food fast, not fast food. The rest of that pesto is tucked in the freezer to stop me from sticking a spoon right in. Good stuff! Make some now before the scapes are gone for another season.