A Prelude to Garlic

Friday, June 16, 2006
This is how the garlic crop looks these days. It shouldn't be long now -- maybe another week or two -- before we break ground and dig down to find those (hopefully) plump, papery-white gems. I can't wait.

Over the past couple of weeks, we've cut off the scapes. (For garlic-growing newbies out there, the scapes are the curly stalks that emerge when the plant is ready to form a flower bud.) So the theory goes that removing the scapes will allow the plant to put more energy into forming a bulb rather than a flower.

We use the scapes in stir-frys usually. The other day I chopped and fried a few in olive oil with red pepper flakes.

This became the foundation for a simple pasta dish topped with toasted walnuts, fresh basil and cheese. (Sorry, I ate all of the finished product before taking a photo. I was really hungry.)

Other uses for garlic scapes? The Washington Post recently suggested a recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto, which sounds like something I'd like to try. Kalyn, the creator of Weekend Herb Blogging, is also trying pesto, and she provides a helpful roundup of other scape-worthy menus she found around the Web. In addition, The Chocolate Lady posted a recipe for Fedelini, Walnuts, Chard and Garlic Scapes. That's one I'll keep in mind when my chard goes berserk again and puts me in another bolting vegetable conundrum.

There's a very short window of opportunity each year to enjoy scapes -- that's what makes them such a unique and special treat. For me, they're a tempting prelude to the main attraction that's soon to come.


Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

Thanks Christa!

I am planning to try a dish of just the scapes on their own--something like a green bean recipe. They are pleasantly mild when cooked.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

The scapes seem to be hot these days. I am thinking that the ones I had must have been picked past their prime, since they were definitely not "mild"!

This could be a good post for Weekend Herb Blogging if you wanted to add a link to my blog with those words. E-mail me if you decide to do it.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Oooh - so exciting to see others writing about garlic scapes...I only heard of them for the first time the other day.

I'll be posting my Spinach and Garlic Scapes Pizza recipe soon - perhaps you could use it.


3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I’ve never heard of using ‘scapes’ before ... it definitely makes me think that gardeners really do get the best from everything they grow ... I wish I'd planted some garlic

"I eat everything that nature voluntarily gives: fruits, vegetables, and the products of plants ... "

7:49 AM  
Blogger David (Snappy) said...

I planted some old garlic bulbs found lying in the bottom of my cupboard with spilt rice and dry pasta and xmas nuts!To my suprise one has germinated next to my quince tree.Fresh garlic for me soon,yum yum

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh thank you, thank you, thank you for all the great info. on how to cook up scapes.

I've been growing a good crop of garlic for the past four years and only found out about eating the scapes late last year. Before I'd cut them off and into the compost pile...not anymore!


7:25 PM  

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