Gone are the days when garlic scapes were a seasonal rarity. Nowadays, garlic scapes are becoming increasingly popular and more widely available. Whether you’re a garlic connoisseur or just getting started, cooking with garlic scapes is sure to become a new favorite pastime.
What are Garlic Scapes?
Garlic scapes are the curled flower stalks of the hardneck garlic plant. They are the part of the plant responsible for the production of garlic bulbs, and are harvested in order to redirect the plant’s energy into the bulb. As a result, garlic scapes are available for a much shorter period of time than garlic bulbs.
These tender flower stalks have a mild garlic flavor that is slightly sweeter and less pungent than garlic cloves and can be used in a variety of dishes. Garlic scapes can be eaten raw or cooked and are a great addition to soups, salads, stir-fries, and more.
How to Use Garlic Scapes in Cooking
Garlic scapes can easily be incorporated into favorite recipes. They are particularly delicious when roasted or grilled, as the heat brings out their sweet and nutty flavor. When grilling, it’s best to use a light coating of oil to prevent the scapes from sticking to the grill.
Garlic scapes can also be used raw in salads, soups, and pestos. When using garlic scapes raw, it’s important to remember that they have a milder flavor than garlic cloves and should be used in smaller quantities.
Tips for Preparing Garlic Scapes
Garlic scapes should be harvested before the flower buds have opened. They should be firm, bright green, and have a fresh, garlicky aroma. When prepping garlic scapes for cooking, it is important to remove the tough outer layer of the scape. This can be done by peeling the scape with a vegetable peeler or by cutting off the ends of the scape and slicing them into rounds.
Garlic scapes can also be frozen for up to 6 months. To freeze garlic scapes, simply blanch them in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, drain, and store them in an airtight container in the freezer.
Garlic Scape Recipes
Garlic scapes are so versatile that they can be used in almost any recipe. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Garlic Scape Pesto
This pesto is easy to make and can be used on pasta, pizza, and sandwiches.
– 2 cups garlic scapes, chopped
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
– 2 tablespoons pine nuts
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a food processor, combine the garlic scapes, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and garlic.
2. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve over your favorite pasta or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Grilled Garlic Scapes
This recipe is a great way to enjoy garlic scapes’ unique flavor.
– 1 pound garlic scapes
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
2. Cut the garlic scapes into 1-inch pieces.
3. Toss the garlic scapes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
4. Place the garlic scapes on the preheated grill and cook for 3-5 minutes, flipping once.
5. Serve hot or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Garlic scapes are a great way to add a mild garlic flavor to your cooking. With their sweet and nutty flavor, garlic scapes are a great addition to salads, soups, stir-fries, and more. Whether you’re a garlic connoisseur or just getting started, cooking with garlic scapes is sure to become a new favorite pastime. So don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with garlic scapes!
And as the saying goes, “If life gives you garlic scapes, make pesto.”