Every June I am excited by the arrival of those funny looking curly garlicky delights, called Garlic Scapes. Once you try them, you too will be so excited you will want to put them in everything, and you know what? You can!
Garlic bulbs are an essential part of any kitchen garden, but did you know that there’s so much more to garlic than just the cloves?
As the garlic grows, it produces a central stalk which goes straight up and then usually grows in spirals which makes loops. The garlic top has a flower or top set, and contains a bulge where “bulbils” form. If a large bulb of garlic is desired at the time of maturity, this stalk gets snipped off after it has made one or two loops, thereby causing all of the energy from the plant to go into producing the large bulbous cloves under the ground at the root base. This part that is cut off is called a Garlic Scape.
Garlic scapes also known as garlic tops, garlic shoots, green garlic, spring baby garlic, garlic spears, early garlic greens, or garlic flowers are the curly tipped and very tasty green shoots. These curly green tendrils are a versatile and nutritious culinary treasure that is valued in haute cuisine. Garlic scapes, are truly a gourmet delight!
Steam some scapes whole and serve them with melted butter like asparagus.
Cut them into short lengths to add to a stir fry. They have a delicate garlic flavour which gives a subtly different and delicious flavour to any sauce.
Garlic scapes work well in soups, salads, stews, salsas, dips, guacamole, omelettes, frittatas, souffles, marinades, pesto, salad dressings, and stir-fry.
Put a handful of garlic scapes into a food processor with butter and parsley, maybe a little parmesan cheese and make a wonderful spread for Toasted Garlic Bread. Mmmm and with the spelt bread recipe Lady Locavore has… now we’re talkin’ garlic!
Scapes are also delightful chopped up and used as a garlicky pizza topping.
Garlic scapes can also be pickled and added to homemade flavored vinegars.
A simple but wonderful garlic scape spread or dip can be made by chopping some scapes up and mixing them with softened cream cheese, or sour cream and dill.
Slice the stalks lengthwise and then add them to a pot and let their flavour permeate the boiling water before throwing in some dried pasta. The pasta will absorb the fresh garlic taste and the green strips will add a dash of colour to the finished pasta. Serve with a simple Alfredo sauce or parmesan cheese.
They are absolutely amazing with fried potatoes and onion.
Make a fabulous Pesto, using Garlic Scapes. May I make a suggestion? Make lots of pesto. Put it away in the freezer in ice-cube trays, or if you use butter instead of oil, roll each section into a little ball, and use later in rice dishes, pasta, salsas, soups and stir fry.
Create yourself a beautiful bracelet of garlic scapes, winding up your wrist. Who knows, but i do believe it will keep vampires and any other undesirables away.
Wow is there anything garlic does Not go with???
GARLIC SCAPE AND SPINACH FRITTATA
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 10 eggs
- 1 cup (1/2 lb.) chopped raw spinach
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley or basil
- 1/2 c. finely chopped garlic scapes
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl mix all ingredients except oil and scapes. Heat oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet on the stove. Add the scapes and sauté until tender on medium heat for about five minutes. Pour egg mixture in skillet with garlic and cook over low for three minutes. Place in oven and bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until top is set. Cut into wedges and serve. (This recipe was adapted from dakotagarlic.com)