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We Love Garlic Scapes

heart garlic scape recipesWhat is it? Garlic scapes are the magical-wand-like flower shoots of the garlic plant. They emerge in late spring and contain a small bud that will become a flower if left on the plant.

Many farmers, including me, prefer to cut the scapes away. The theory is that instead of the garlic spending energy growing the allium blossom, it will focus on the bulb.

The scape is edible at this early age. Many farmers include them in June CSA shares. Others sell them at the farmer's markets.

Eating Garlic Scapes

As with all vegetables, I encourage cooks to taste the garlic scape raw as a first step to using it in recipes. I find it has a mild garlic and onion flavor. The texture is dense and stringy in wider parts of the scape but palatable raw in the thin ends.

curly edible garlic scapesYoung scapes are very curly. Choose these for the most tender bite. The flower bud can also be eaten and tastes like the rest of the scape with a hint of bitterness.

If you enjoy the scape raw, toss it in salads or use as a garnish. You can also blend it with basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper to make a delightful pesto sauce. We'll be eating scapes that way at least once this week.

If you aren't a fan of raw garlic flavor, try cooking with the scapes. Chop finely and use as you would use garlic or chives. In larger chunks, a garlic scape is a savory addition to stir fry, frittata, or quiche. They can flavor rice or quinoa dishes.

If you find yourself unable to fit them into your menu, freeze the scapes whole with the rest of your vegetable scraps for the next time you make stock.

Our family <3s garlic scapes, does yours?

 

PS. I asked Lil to arrange the scapes for me to photograph and she came up with the heart. How cute!

Added to Hearth and Soul First Year Anniversary.