What the heck is a Garlic Scape?
Kathryn Lukas from Farmhouse Culture wrote this a few years back:
This was my question to Christine last week as she handed me a bag of curly garlic scapes. We were both in a rush so there was only time for this quick explanation: flower stalk thing of a garlic plant- delightfully tasty. I was left to experiment on my own all week and am here to enthusiastically report that garlic scapes are fantastic!
First I finely chopped them into eggs much like I do with green garlic and the results were similarly wonderful. The tips of the scapes are little bulb-like seed pods that I found a bit tough so I used them as garnish. In fact the whimsical shape of scapes inspires the visual imagination and you may find yourself wanting to embellish everything you cook with them. Their mild flavor makes it quite possible to munch on them raw in whole stalk form, so why not?
You can also add scapes to salads, soups, vegetable stir frys, and just about anything you might be inclined to pair with garlic. A goggle search uncovered several pesto recipes that I have yet to try but that sound divine.
Apparently we are quite fortunate to have this short seasoned treat at all. Scapes are found only on hardneck varieties, not the softneck varieties that most California farmers grow. The stalk is removed to encourage bulb growth and until recently scapes mostly landed in compost piles. Thanks to Christine and Eric’s love and knowledge of garlic, we get to play with this sublimely delicious plant in our kitchens.
Carolyn Cope pulled together 7 different ways to cook with garlic scapes. Check them out here.