If I am remembered for contributing 1 dish to the food world, I’m rooting for my “scape-dog”. Not only is the name punny and hilarious, it’s an awfully good way to enjoy 2 of summer’s best features: grilled hot dogs and zesty green garlic scapes.
Let’s go over the scape-dog’s history. Last year was the first time I took the plunge at the farmer’s market and actually bought a bunch of garlic scapes. I’d seen them, but I had never known exactly what they were or how they could be used. They’re thin green stalks that grow up from a garlic bulb. They pop out of the ground, twisting and curling until they end in what looks like a tightly closed, spindly flower. Garlic scapes get snipped off in early summer so they don’t suck up all nutrients needed for the garlic bulb to grow large and plump. They then get trucked off to farmer’s markets and end up in the hands of people like me that aren’t completely sure what to do next.
I figured out what to do in a hurry though. Turns out I liked them. No, loved them. I ate them sautéed, grilled, roasted, and raw. I had them on pizza, with pasta, as a salad, and in eggs. I bought bunch after bunch and started pushing them on friends and family. When they were all but coming out my ears, I stumbled upon my favorite application for them: grilled and used as a hot dog garnish. Oh, yeah, I’m talking a good charred dog with a smear of mustard and a few grilled scapes dancing out of the bun. Just add a cold beer and a picnic table and it’s easy summer eating at its finest.
Grab your picnic essentials and let’s hit the road. Load the cooler with hot dogs, garlic scapes, mustard, and cold beer. Throw a blanket, buns, and potato chips into a basket. Don’t forget charcoal and, just as importantly, the matches. Ready!
Pick a pretty spot to while the evening away and fire up the grill. Put the dogs on and grill them until they are charred, blistered, and officially in the realm of guilty pleasure. Grill the scapes until they are tender and browned here and there. Toast the buns and put it all together.
My bun gets spread with a little mayonnaise on 1 side, a lot of Dijon mustard on the other. This time around, I used a pretzel roll instead of a regular hot dog bun. You could use either–pretzel rolls are inherently delicious, but a regular, wimpy hot dog bun will actually show off the scapes better. If you are really ambitious (and want major bragging rights), you could try making your own, but I doubt I’m at any risk of ever being that ambitious.
Done! Eat your hot dog. Maybe some grilled sweet corn. A beer or 2. Play a game, toss a ball, ignore the mosquitos. Lay on a blanket in the grass until the sun sets. This is summer living at its most enjoyable.
- Hot Dogs
- Garlic Scapes (about 5 per dog)
- Hot Dog Buns or Pretzel Rolls
- Dijon Mustard
- Light the grill. Create a hot, even fire.
- Grill the hot dogs until the outsides are blistered and slightly charred.
- Grill the garlic a couple minutes per side, until tender and charred in spots.
- Split the buns and toast them on the grill for a minute.
- Spread the toasted buns with mustard and mayonnaise. Insert dog and top with a few of the grilled garlic scapes. Crack a beer, grab a handful of potato chips, and dig into summer.