Garlic scapes are the stalks that grow from the bulbs of hardneck garlic plants. Once the scapes are long enough to make a cute loop like a pig’s tail, they get picked. We pick them in order to help send more of the plant’s energy into growing a big bulb. Farmers used to throw them into the compost, but now they have become a culinary treat.
Certainly Garlic Scapes look amazing in a fresh bouquet of flowers. Their long curlicue tendrils can make even dandelions look like art. But put them on your plate and they’ll blow your mind. And they contain only 30 calories per 100 grams!
The wonderful, health-boosting properties of garlic scapes include:
- Reoxygenation of the blood – scientific studies show that regular garlic consumption increases baseline arterial oxygen levels
- Protection against osteoarthritis – the micronutrients found in garlic have been shown to repress enzymes linked with osteoarthritis
- High in antioxidants – garlic consumption boosts overall antioxidant levels in the body
- Cancer-fightering diallyl sulphide, garlic’s super power organosulfur compound
- Promotes liver and kidney health
- Vampire (and mosquito) deterrent
A Garlic scape pesto is a very popular and delicious use for scapes: just add them to the greens in your favorite pesto recipe! Here is a recipe adapted from New York Times (http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015301-garlic-scape-pesto):
- 1 cup garlic scapes, chopped (10 to 12 scapes)
- ¼ cup raw seeds: sunflower, pine nuts, almonds
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (omit or substitute with nutritional yeast for a vegan version)
- ½ cup basil leaves
- Juice of one lemon
- Salt and pepper to your taste (sprinkle in a few hot pepper flakes for an extra kick)
Blend all ingredients in a food processor, pulsing between the addition of each new ingredient. Check the potency of your scapes and adjust to your taste.
Scapes can be used in almost any recipe that calls for garlic. They taste like garlic, but are slightly milder. And they are dramatic, green and curly! Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
– Chop them small and add them to scrambled eggs, frittatas, quiche
– Use them as aromatics
– Add them to stir-fries and fried rice
– Blend them into salad dressings – Green Goddess just got a little more divine!
– Pickle them
– Mince them and mix with butter for an amazing compound butter
– Add them to soups
As you can see, the garlic scape is a versatile ingredient! One of our favorite ways to cook scapes is also the simplest: Toss them with a bit of olive oil and then cook on the on the grill. It is a beautiful way to serve them (and a delicious way to eat them). They get caramelized and sweet!
Buy them on our website and we will ship them to you anywhere in the country. We also sell them at our farm stand, which is self-serve and open 24/7. Bon Apetit!