Stock Up on Garlic Scapes Now

comments (0) June 12th, 2017

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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Fresh garlic scapes are now in season in gardens and at farmers markets. 
Grilled garlic scapes are a versatile vegetable, from side-dish to main dish.
Fresh garlic scapes are now in season in gardens and at farmers markets. Click To Enlarge

Fresh garlic scapes are now in season in gardens and at farmers markets. 

Photo: John Pendleton

The season for garlic scapes is fleeting, so enjoy them now before they're gone.

Scapes are the flower stalks from hard neck garlic bulbs. These curly green stalks have to be cut from the garlic plants to keep the garlic growing. Without cutting, the heads of garlic won't be as large. 

Gardeners who grow garlic will have a good handful of scapes to use in their cooking. But farmers who grow garlic to sell at farmers markets have to get rid of hundreds of scapes. The good thing about that is those tender green flower stems are delicious.

Get to the farmers market early in the morning because scapes go quickly. The freshest scapes are those that are about the diameter of pencil and bright green with a tight bud at the top.

Fresh scapes can be enjoyed raw when chopped and mixed into green salads. The mild garlic flavor has the consistency of fresh green beans.

My favorite way to use scapes is to lightly brush with olive oil and grill until they've browned a bit.

Here are seven ways to use garlic scapes this season:

  1. Grill and use as a side dish.
  2. Toss grilled scapes on top of a salad or grilled meat.
  3. Use grilled scapes with pasta.
  4. Pickle -- or ferment -- the whole scapes.
  5. Chop into bite-size pieces for a stir fry.
  6. Slice into little rounds to toss into eggs.
  7. Process into a paste for pesto.

Because garlic scapes are available for a Limited Time Only, chop them into bite-sized pieces while they're fresh and place in freezer bags. When you need the fresh taste of summer, grab a handful to use in your favorite fall and winter recipes.


posted in: garlic, scapes