Garlic scapes

About: Garlic scapes are the spiraling stems with a flower bud at the tip that shoot up from the bulbs of hard-neck garlic plants. Because they divert energy from the the growing garlic plants, farmers tend to cut them off to get bigger bulbs. They used to be tossed in the compost heap, until people started realizing that they were beautiful and delicious.

Season: June-July (get them quick before they're gone)

Storage: In a bag in the fridge (up to a couple of weeks), or in a glass as an edible bouquet on the counter (if you're planning to use them in a few days)

Cleaning: Just a quick rinse.

Pairings: Anything that goes with garlic. Keep in mind that scapes have a a more delicate flavor than dried garlic bulbs, especially when cooked cooked, so be sure to scape up accordingly.

Preparations: Any way you would prepare garlic, but with a little more respect. Minced raw in dressings, slivered and sauteed as a sidekick for other veggies, fish, or meat, chopped and blanched and made into pesto, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper then grilled whole (my favorite), folded into omelettes, pickled whole (or chopped and frozen) to preserve.


Garlic scape pesto