It’s the season for garlic scapes here, and I am pretty excited about that. The scapes are the flower stalks that form on hardneck garlic varieties and are usually cut off so the plant can devote all its energy to making big bulbs instead of flowers. But the scapes themselves are so tasty I think I would almost grow hardneck garlic just for the scapes alone. The scapes tend to get tough as they get bigger, so it’s best to cut them while they are on the small side. You can peel the stalks if they get tough on you, which sometimes happens to me when I miss cutting them in time.
And what do we do with this seasonal treat? One of my favorite things to make with them is pesto. I always make a batch or two of my Garlic Scape Pesto while they are in season. I like to use the pesto in pasta dishes, often paired with asparagus, which is usually in season at the same time the scapes are coming on. And I’ve been known to spread the pesto on a slice of crusty homemade bread for a garlicky snack. It also makes a good base for a pizza or wrap.
Another of my favorite things to make is garlic scape salad dressing. I’ve already made one batch of this so far this year, and I will surely make more as long as we have the scapes. The recipe for Daphne’s Garlic Scape Salad Dressing is easy to make and leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week, though we usually eat it up quicker than that!
The scapes make a nice addition to egg dishes like omelets and frittatas. They can also be cut up to use in stir fried dishes, roasted or even grilled. I think it’s best to use the smallest and most tender ones for those treatments.
I’m always looking for new ideas, and I’d love hear from others about how they use garlic scapes. They can sometimes be found at farmer’s markets or farm stands this time of year, but the best way to get the freshest and tastiest ones is to grow them yourself. I hope you’ve enjoyed this update, and I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!