Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Grilled Chicken Skewers with Garlic Scape Dressing

If you’re not familiar with garlic scapes, now is the time to get acquainted. Late spring and early summer are the times of year you’ll find this delectable stem shooting up from growing garlic bulbs, with a tiny bulb of its own and that signature curl in its slender green length.

Garlic Scapes
Scapes are typically snipped off to encourage the garlic bulb’s growth and then, unfortunately, tossed into the compost (or, worse, trash). But now these tasty, garlicky shoots are finding a place of their own at farm markets, in recipes, and on dining tables.

Pesto, saut├ęs, soups, hummus, dressings—just about anyplace you use garlic cloves, the garlic scape can be used as well. It’s milder than mature garlic, so feel free to use a little more in your recipe.

Here, I wanted the dressing to be the highlight of the dish, so I paired it with simple grilled chicken breast, marinated in garlicky olive oil. I used a cast-iron griddle on the stovetop, but you can use a grill pan or outdoor grill, of course—the dressing will still be the star.

Serves 4


For the Chicken
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for grilling
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (about 1-1/3 lbs total), each cut into 5 chunks
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Chicken Breast Ready to Marinate
For the Dressing
  • 10 4-inch pieces of garlic scapes, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Scapes Ready to Chop

For the Chicken
  1. Combine the olive oil, garlic cloves, and pepper flakes in a heavy, sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken chunks, seal, and turn several times to coat. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.
Chicken in the Marinade
  1. Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread 5 pieces onto each of 4 skewers (if wood, soaked in water 30 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a grill pan or cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Grill the chicken skewers until lightly charred and just cooked through, turning on all sides, about 15 minutes total.
Chicken Beginning to Grill 
Grilled Chicken
Divide the dressing (recipe follows) among individual dipping bowls and place alongside the skewers, or pass the dressing at the table to let your guests spoon on top of the chicken.

For the Dressing
  1. Place the first 6 ingredients (through mustard) in a food processor and season with salt and pepper. Process until the scapes and scallions are finely chopped.
  2. With the processor on, slowly add the oil until well blended. Pour the dressing into a bowl and set aside. (Cover and refrigerate if not using within an hour. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Dressing before Adding Oil 
Garlic Scape Dressing

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