Updated: May 23
Garlic scapes are treasures hiding in plain sight. Recently, scapes have become a culinary force in their own right, being sold by the bunch at farmers' markets during a short period between spring and summer when they are in season.
What are garlic scapes? Garlic scapes are thin, vibrant green stalks that grow from the garlic bulb. They are long, curvy, and kind of look like a cross between chives and scallions. The stalk of the garlic scape also often includes a bulge on the end; that is actually a bud, and if the scape was left on the bulb, the bud would flower. What do garlic scapes taste like? In their raw form, garlic scapes have a more in-your-face garlic flavor, oniony, pungent, and herbaceous, though they’re less spicy than raw garlic cloves. Once cooked, the scapes have a sweeter flavor similar to roasted garlic. Overall, their flavor is milder than garlic and somewhat a cross between garlic and chives. Their texture is similar to asparagus. How to cook with garlic scapes. Raw scapes themselves can be pretty tough. Chop up a small amount of garlic scapes and add them to your favorite blended salad dressing recipe, such as green goddess dressing. Add thinly sliced garlic scapes to butter for a delicious compound butter that you can whip out to make fresh garlic bread in a snap. You can also cut the garlic scapes to fit into a jar and follow your favorite recipe for pickles. To cook garlic scapes. Trim the end and bud, toss with oil, salt, and pepper, and pop the whole scapes on the grill over a medium flame. Cook until the outside has a nice char and the inside is soft about—10 minutes. You can also saute or stir fry garlic scapes as you would green beans. Snap them into 2-inch pieces and toss them in oil over medium-high heat for four to five minutes. Note: the buds can be cooked, just add them to the pan a minute or two before you start cooking the rest of the scape, so it has extra time to get tender. You can serve them up as part of a stir-fry dish. Sauteed garlic scapes can also be added to quiche for a seasonal spring brunch. How to store garlic scapes. Garlic scapes can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks in a zip-top plastic bag left slightly open. Since garlic scapes are only available for a few weeks, you may want to purchase more than you need and freeze them. To freeze, place the garlic scapes in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and put that in the freezer. This will prevent them from clumping together. Once frozen, transfer to a ziptop bag, and store in the freezer for up to one year.
Garlic Scape Recipes from the Farm Kitchen
Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes, thinly sliced crosswise 1/4 cup pine nuts 1/2 cup good olive oil 1/4 cup Parmesan (see below for vegan parmesan recipe) Salt and pepper, to taste Directions
Add the scapes and pine nuts to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until everything is broken up a bit. Then turn the processor back on, and with it running, add the oil a little at a time until it's fully incorporated. Add cheese, pulse, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
This won't brown like basil pesto will, so if you're not using it immediately, just store in a container in the fridge. It will last a week.
Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Ingredients ½ cup hemp seeds
¼ cup nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste Directions
Simply stir together the ingredients in a bowl or jar until they are evenly dispersed. Taste, and add more salt for a more intense flavor (I usually add another pinch or so).
Store this vegan Parmesan cheese in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 months. Nutritional Information Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon | Calories: 44 | Carbs: 1.4 g | Fat: 3.3 g | Protein: 3.1 g | Sodium: 44.7 mg | Sugar: .1 g
Daily Value : Thiamin (B1)82% | (B2)71% | Vitamin B6 57% | B12 33% | Niacin (B3)33% | Folic Acid 15% | Magnesium 11% | Zinc 9% | Phosphorus 9% | Potassium 2%
Garlic Scape Compound Butter
Do you love crispy toasted garlic bread? Spread this garlic scape compound butter on your favorite baguette, ciabatta, sourdough, or focaccia and enjoy the - chives meets garlic meets asparagus - flavor of garlic scapes.
8 tablespoons (112 grams) vegan butter, at room temperature
5 garlic scapes, thinly sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Place room-temperature butter and garlic scapes into a mixing bowl.
Grate the lemon zest overtop and sprinkle in the salt.
Scoop butter mixture onto a piece of parchment or plastic wrap.
Roll into a log (refer to video to see this in action) and twist the ends to seal.
Chill until solid, then slice and use as desired.