For a lot of our members, the 5 garlic scapes were a definite new addition to the kitchen. However, for those of us that know garlic scapes, it is one of late Springs favorite treats. Garlic is a great plant, part of the onion family, and relative to shallot, leeks, chives, and rakkyo. Its varieties have been used around the world throughout the centuries for both culinary and medicinal uses. We all know how to rock the bulb, which is by far the most commonly used part of the plant. Many parts of the plants are edible, including the leaves and flowers. The garlic scape is technically the immature flower stalk of the hardneck & elephant types of garlic. Garlic scapes are harvested early, before the seeds develop, in order to force the plant to focus on growing a larger bulb instead of producing a big flower. When the garlic scapes are still in full curl, they are tender and succulent. They have a taste that is milder than the garlic cloves, and have a broad spectrum of uses from soup to salads to garnishes. The garlic scape is an allium delicacy that is highly prized and traditionally used in Southern, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and Korean cuisine because of its subtle garlic flavor and tender-crisp texture.
The most commonly marketed way to cook a scape is to treat it like an asparagus, chopping it into quarter inch segments and stir frying in sesame oil or sautéing it in olive oil or butter. However, there are many wonderful ways to cook and enjoy scapes. Once you dive into its world of mellowed out garlicky-ness, you are going to be running to the farmers market to score some more before they are all gone. (Gaudencia & Martin said they had enough scapes for the first 2 distributions…)
Garlic scapes store well. You can keep them in the refrigerator for approximately 1 month, though fresh-cut is always the best. You can remove the stalk tip above the pod before using. If you aren’t a fan of garlic (or if you have an allergy), garlic scapes also make a great decoration. They last for months in a vase with water and will even start to straighten and flower. (The flower is a pod of seeds, similar to a dandy lion) However, once flowered, they are too woody for consuming…
Some great ideas from members…
A recipe for Garlic Scape & Almond Pesto from Lis T- yum! One thing she realized was that if you cook them for too long they become tough and fibrous! Total bummer when that happens!
Carla K sent over a recipe for a cannellini bean, tomato, and spinach soup which used some sautéed garlic scapes she made on Monday night – her 1st official meal courtesy of local farmers. Very exciting! She added cumin, fresh lime juice and a bit of the cilantro to the recipe. The original recipe came from Smitten Kitchen which is one of our favorite resources for good cooking! Photos to die for!
Ryan K whipped up a Rhubarb relish using 5 stalks, 2 scapes, a white onion, a Habanero pepper, a scoop of brown sugar, and a cup of white vinegar. Brought the whole pot to a rolling boil and then removed from heat. Was a hit at the bbq, being used on hot dogs, grilled mackerel fish rolls, roasted veggie rolls, and just as a general side.
From Rich K; Place in lightly oiled pan and add salt to taste. Cover and roast for 30 to 45 minutes until beginning to turn brown. Serve as a side dish.
Some good general uses for the scape:
- Chop & add raw to salads or use scapes in a dressing
- Pickle or add to pickled beets or cucumbers for a garlic relish
- Steam & dress with a bit of lemon juice; Steamed Scape Focaccia
- Use as a garnish; Potato, Cauliflower & Scape Puree w/ Salmon & Scape
- Makes a mean pesto; Garlic Scape Pesto & With a Twist
- pasta! pasta! pasta!; Garlic Scape Carbonara
- Slice and add to most any sauce; Vegetable Curry
- Chop & add to any fresh guacamole or fresh salsa; Guacamole w/ Garlic Scapes
- Chop & mix w/ softened cream cheese for a localized spread; Vegetable Cream Cheese
- Substitute in any recipe for green onions; Scallop Risotto
- Add to bruschetta or pizza toppings; Brie & Garlic Scape Pizza
- Add to egg dishes or mashed potatoes; Garlic Scape Scramble & Mashed Potatoes w/ Garlic Scapes
- Stir fry in any & every style; Beef & Garlic Scape Stir Fry
- Mix into your favorite hash recipe; Potato, Bacon & Scape Hash
- Twist into your favorite comfort foods; Chicken Shepard’s Pie w/ Sweet Potato Mash or Veggie Moussaka
- Soup in any type or flavor; Potato Garlic Soup
Any other good scape recipes out there? Please add them to the comments!
One thought on “Scapes – what is a girl to do?”
made a garlic scape & spinach pasta. with a sungold sage sauce from last season, italian sausage, & pecorino romano. divine. topped with fried sage from the garden & the 2 scape flowers. smashing garnish, i recommend eating the whole scape!