Every garlic bulb wants to grow up to become a luscious green garlic plant. Thus it sends up beautiful, spiraling shoots as it grows. These are garlic scapes. They grow from hard-neck varieties of garlic. Farmers harvest them, thus focusing all the garlic’s energy back down into bulb growth. While the uninitiated might want to weave these lovely garlic scapes into organic beer-can holders or fragrant gift baskets, those in the know have better ideas.
Fresh garlic scapes are terrific added to spaghetti sauce, salsa, pesto or omelets. The caloric content they add in these uses is negligible, but the flavor content is spectacular. According to Carolyn Cope of Seriouseats.com:
In one sense, scapes are to garlic as fusilli is to rigatoni: the crazy-bastard college buddy who never really embraced adulthood, the one you catch up with by phone once or twice a year. When they’re young and tender, they… offer more than a slightly rowdy alternative to garlic. Because of their substantial heft as opposed to garlic cloves, they are vegetable, aromatic, and even herb all in one. If you get some from your CSA, happen upon a giant pile of them at the farmers’ market, or snip them from your garden, don’t politely look the other way. Grab a handful and give one of these ideas a try.
The recipes she lists include the ever popular Garlic Scape Pesto and Grilled Scapes, but also includes:
Scape Compound Butter – add a little lemon
Scapes as Aromatic – use them as you would garlic
Scapes as vegetable – use them like you would green beans
Scape Soup – Check out this incredible Double Garlic Soup
Stop by the farm to buy armloads of scapes, or order them here, we’ll ship anywhere in the country.
image credit: chiotsrun.com