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Crops & Varieties: Garlic Scapes


Early in the season--and only for a brief couple of weeks--we’ll be bringing you garlic scapes, which are basically the stems of the hardneck garlic plant with the flower’s bud just starting to develop (some call them "pigtails" because of the curl).  They are removed so the plant puts its energy into the bulbs rather than the flower.  The scape's specific flavor (some find them to be mild, while others find them to be extra potent) is something you can only find for a few weeks each years—and only directly from farmers!

Quick tips
These delicately-flavored stems are great in a stir fry, on pasta, or sauteed.
 
Scapes make a flavorful substitute for the basil and garlic in your favorite pesto recipe. Make a pesto (recipe below) and stick it in the freezer to save the taste of Spring for later in the year. (Always add cheese only when defrosting pesto, and be sure to cover it with a layer of olive oil to prevent freezer burn.)

Though you might be tempted to eat them raw, they're much better in one of their preferred states: parboiled in broth, roasted or sauteed in butter.

Finely chop the leaves and flowers to use as a mellow, garlicky garnish for cooked veggies, salads and soups.

Storage
 
Don’t wash them ahead of time.  Store like chives in a cool, dark place, preferably the bin of the vegetable crisper. 

Recipes

From our Newsletter Archive: Garlic Scape Pesto + Roasted Garlic Scapes (PDF)


Epicurious: Garlic Scape Dip


 

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