It all began here in front of the garlic scapes. Whimsical creatures, these are the curly green tops of garlic bulbs, also known as garlic shoots. Like garlic, these too are edible, with a milder garlic flavor, and can be used in many different ways.
Never mind that they will probably disappear next few days or if we’re lucky, weeks.
Standing here, my mind went down a long list of possibilities. Garlic scape pesto, garlic scape hummus, stir-fried beef and garlic scapes, sautéed or grilled garlic scpes, garlic scape pasta, creamy garlic scape soup. I wasn’t quite sure what they would end up in, but I bought a few bundles and hoped for the best. Looking at them, they really want to be be playful.
On a whim, I settled on grilled naan bread, stuffed with melty cheese and garlic scape chutney- mostly because I have been feeling gluten deprived and cheese deprived… and so it happened.
Normally the chutney would be served on the side, and of course you could do this instead, but today, I felt the need to be efficient and put it all together into one perfect bite. The melty cheese together with the flavorful chutney and warm pillowy naan, was delicious.
You don’t have to use garlic scapes for the recipe- if you can’t find them. Substitute Italian parsley or cilantro and a few cloves of garlic.
And if you are not a fan of “green stuff”, feel free leave it out entirely. The grilled naan with melted cheese alone is tasty too. You could try adding things like roasted garlic, caramelized onions or if feeling very lazy, use a little granulated garlic powder.
Naan Bread is an Indian flat bread, pillowy and elastic, traditionally baked in a very hot tandoor clay oven. Many people use their own oven at home, set at a vey high temperature. Because I like to keep heat outside of the house in summer, I tried something different and fired up the grill. And it worked great. You could also use a heavy duty grill pan on your stove top.
The dough for the naan bread is simple and un-yeasted. It’s also very quick, only needing about one hour to rest before rolling out. If you have a stand mixer, it really takes all the work out of it.
Follow the recipe, mixing the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to form a dough.
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and form into balls. Place on a floured baking sheet.
Brush with a little olive oil, cover with plastic wrap for one hour.
While the dough is resting make the garlic scape chutney.
Remember to remove the flower buds from the garlic scapes and just use the tender stems.
Place all ingredients in the food processor, and pulse until it resembles a fine crumb. I added roasted almonds to the chutney, which is not traditional, but adds a little crunch and heartiness.
I also added half a Serrano Chili, for a little kick.
The extra can be saved in your fridge for a few days.
When the naan bread dough has rested, roll the balls out into 5 inch diameter circles, on a floured surface. Keeping them at this size or slightly less will help prevent the stuffing from seeping out the thin walls.
Spread the garlic scape chutney leaving 1/2- 1 inch space around the edges.
Sprinkle a tablespoon or more of your favorite meltable cheese- like queso fresco, mozzarella, or paneer.
Bring all the edges together and pinch.
Gently turn over and gently flatten with the palm of your hand.
Gently roll out into 6 inch disks, with the cheese and chutney inside, stacking and layering with parchment paper.
Grill on a preheated grill set at Medium heat. Oil down the grill rack by using a paper towel with a little oil on it and a pair of tongs. Start with one naan first before you put more on, to get the hang of it. Place the naan on the oiled rack, cover and grill for 2-3 minutes or until naan puffs up a little. Turn over and grill for 2-3 more minutes.
Stack the naan bread until ready to serve. Serve whole or cut.
Naan is best right off the grill but leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated.
A delicious Naan Bread Recipe that is stuffed with an Indian Garlic Scape Chutney…..give it a whirl!