Garlic Scapes are a thing of beauty.

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We haven’t known each other very long but I am already in love. We met last Summer. It was a beautiful day in June – a Tuesday actually. I always anticipated Tuesdays as a heaping box of fresh produce landed on my door step around noon every other week. This week was no different except when I removed the lid to reveal the glorious contents I found an item that looked quite odd. Citron green, slender stalks wildly curly with a small bud near the top.

I soon discovered that this – new – to – me ingredient was a Garlic Scape, the stem of a hardneck garlic. While the bulbs are busy maturing below the surface the young and mischievous flower stem curls.  Young garlic scapes are tender and delicious. I often describe the texture to that of a green bean but the flavor is unmistakable – similar to mature garlic but much more mellow.


Last season I chopped my scapes in one inch pieces, sauteed in brown butter and added fresh sweet corn. Before I finished licking my plate the garlic scape season was over and I spent the cold winter months dreaming of that sweet garlicky taste that I didn’t get enough of.

This year is different. When Dorie posted a recipe for Garlic Scape pesto I nearly dropped the computer and began hunting them down for myself. I held off for a few days – in the meantime anticipating what I was going to do with my little mischievous curls.


The Farmer’s market was teaming with scapes. I grabbed three large bunches and headed home, munching on a pint of incredibly red and sweet strawberries to tide me over.

In a matter of a few hours the scapes were transformed into Pesto, pickles and pizza.

The first bunch I tossed in a bowl with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt. They sizzled on a very hot grill pan then finished in the oven on a bed of mozzarella cheese and whole wheat crust.

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The second bunch was chopped up, tossed in a blender with lemon juice, roasted and chopped almonds, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and salt – making the most incredible pesto I have ever tasted. I followed Dorie’s recipe here (with an addition of lemon juice)


And finally – the third bunch is sitting on the pantry shelf pickling as we speak. This little project I am quite proud of as it was my first attempt at canning and so far I see no scary creatures growing in the jar. I call that a success.

Pickled Garlic Scapes

1       pound or more of scapes, whole

3       cups vinegar

5       cups water

¼     cup kosher salt

Fresh Basil Leaves

Chili Flakes

Boil the water, vinegar & salt solution. Pack hot jars with whole scapes, 1 fresh basil leaf, a pinch of chili flakes (depending on your spice tolerance) and then the brine. Put on lids, place in a hot water canner and boil for 45 minutes. Leave at least 2 weeks before serving to get best flavor.

I adapted the recipe from EverGreen Farms. With one bunch of scape I made 2 8 oz. jars and have an abundance of pickling liquid left ready and waiting for more scapes.


I hope to have many more scape experiments this season but I must act quickly as the season is very brief.

How do you eat your Garlic Scapes?

More Scape-tastic recipes:

White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip from zested

The inspiration for my pizza from Herbivoracious

Another version of pesto from Kayln’s Kitchen

Garlic Scape Soup from Going Local


69 Responses to “Garlic Scapes”

  1. Magic mesh

    It’s truly very complex in this active life to listen news on TV, so I only use world wide web for that reason, and take the latest information.

  2. Adrienne Schroeder

    Which part of the Garlic really ‘Scape do you cook I just found some in my flowers and I don’t really know what to do with it.

  3. Rosemary

    I had heard/read about garlic scapes a few times but had never seen then until my first visit to our farmers’ market this season. I bought 10 of them and now needed to know what to do with them. The cooking shows/competitions on TV didn’t help much. Thanks for the recipes and ideas; I am excited to make something wonderful!!


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