Intro

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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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

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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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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!!

    Reply

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