Garlic scapes provide delicate garlic flavor and are available in the early spring. The garlic scape is the stem from which the seed head of the hardneck garlic bulb is formed. As the bulb begins to grow and mature, the garlic stalks lengthen and the scape begins to curve. The scape has a great deal of flavor, although the stalk never reaches the same level of intense garlic flavor as the bulb. Garlic scapes are very tender when young and should be harvested before they start to harden.
Crushed garlic scapes can be used in place of garlic in most recipes, providing more of a fresh, green, taste with less bite than regular garlic cloves. Garlic scapes work well chopped and added raw to salads, salsas, dips, guacamole, marinades, pesto, dressings, mashed potatoes, and a topping for pizza or baked potatoes. For a tasty new take on garlic bread, mix chopped scapes into softened butter and toast under the broiler.
Garlic scapes, like most other members of the allium family, provide numerous health benefits. Certain compounds found in garlic and garlic scapes may help to reoxygenate blood and maintain healthy tissue and organs. Garlic scapes also contain a componant that blocks certain enzymes that are responsible for breaking down bone tissue, thus protecting against osteoarthiritis. In addtion, garlic scapes are high in antioxidants, have anti-cancer properties, and prevents against oxidative stress that may cause damage to the liver and kidneys.
Storing & Cooking Information
Handling: Chop the tender stalks and use like you would garlic on in any recipes. While you can eat the whole scape, some people remove the stalk tip and pod, because they are more fibrous than the stalk.
Storing: Garlic scapes keep well in a plastic bag in the fridge for two to three weeks. They will keep for a few days (and will look beautiful) in a glass with a little cool water in it, on the counter in a cool room. Change water daily.
Freezing: Store chopped garlic scapes (no need to blanch) in an airtight container in the freezer to enjoy this seasonal treat all year long.
Tips: Here are some helpful cooking tips that you may not know about Garlic Scapes. You can use garlic scapes to make pickles or a pesto. They can also be dried or dehydrated. If you are interested in developing your garlic scapes (while they are still in the ground), it is important to harvest them by cutting them about inch above the ground instead of cutting the tips off of the whole plant. This will minimize the strain on your scapes and allow your garlic bulbs to develop.