Just a few years ago, garlic scapes were not so easy to get your hands on, unless of course you got them from your own garden. Many Farmers used to discard the scapes from garlic. As they’ve grown in popularity, farmers realized they should be selling them, not composting them, and now they’re plentiful at farmers markets and make their appearance around the middle to end of June each year.
Garlic scapes, or flower stalks, emerge from hard-necked varieties of garlic, normally in June. The stalks twist around as they grow and form curli-cues. Cutting off the scapes before the flowerheads mature allows the plant to direct more energy into the developing garlic bulb. Or so they say…
When the garlic scapes are still in full curl, they are tender and succulent. They have a garlic taste that is milder than the garlic’s cloves, and have a tender snap of just-picked asparagus. You can prepare garlic scapes pretty much any way you'd use asparagus--and more. And of course they are WAY healthy for you!
The garlic scape is an allium delicacy that is highly prized and traditionally used in Southern and European cuisines, along with Middle Eastern, Korean, and other Asian cuisines, which all value its subtle garlic flavor and tender-crisp texture.
If you are lucky enough to see them at your local farmers market, grab a bunch and try them out. Here are a handful of recipes to get you started...
CANNELLINI BEAN DIP WITH GARLIC SCAPES
15 ounces cannellini beans, cooked, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup garlic scapes, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper - freshly ground
1. Add the beans to the bowl of the food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times. Add the garlic scapes and olive oil and process for about 30 seconds.
2. Add the lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper and process until the dip is thick and creamy. If the dip is a little dry, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and process. Serve with raw vegetables, crackers, bread, pretzels, etc.
Variations: You can also substitute 5 or 6 fresh garlic cloves in place of garlic scapes.
If your scapes are too spicy, you can reduce the amount or add some flat leaf parsley to balance the flavor.
Try these Garlic Scape recipes too!...
Sauteed Garlic Scapes Garlic Scape Pesto Pickled Garlic Scapes