post no. 52 – garlic scape season

Garlic scape season is SHORT, so I recommend everyone get some soon, and stock up! They’ll store in your fridge up to a month in a plastic bag.

Since it’s harvest day and we are quite busy, this will be quick and to the point. Two points to be exact:

  1. What’s a garlic scape? (maybe you already know)
  2. What are some amazing ways to cook with garlic scapes? (you may have some favorites – share them in a comment!)

What is it?

The scape is the flower stalk of a garlic plant that shoots skyward in June. It does this quickly, and for culinary use scapes should be harvested when they are large (a good foot long) but not yet overgrown and woody. We want the entire scape to be tender and choppable. Apparently there are multiple harvest methods, including using a knife, but I’ve always carefully pulled upward, the scape yielding and eventually breaking, or sometimes coming out of the stem completely (win!).

Nick harvesting garlic scapes earlier today

What to do with it

Use in place of traditional garlic. Scapes are super easy to chop, with no peeling. They should be rinsed lightly and the flower head on the one end should be removed. The entire remaining portion can be chopped up to your liking. I have no food photos because I don’t do that, and I just decided to write this. Try the following:

  1. Saute scapes, and when slightly browned, add some arugula to wilt it. Serve with scrambled eggs (preferably mixed with fresh dill and/or basil) for breakfast (or whenever).
  2. Chop scapes and chard stems and saute until chard stem bits are soft. Add roughly chopped chard leaves and continue to cook, adding some brown rice vinegar, tamari, and a little salt and pepper. Serve with any other delicious thing.
  3. Saute chopped scapes in butter and pour over some pasta, cooked grain, roasted potatoes, polenta, it doesn’t matter because it’ll be so good.

Make garlic scape pesto. A truly fantastic, garlicky pesto can be made with garlic scapes replacing some or all of the basil normally used. Whatever your favorite pesto recipe is (maybe you wing it every time), judiciously replace some basil with scapes. I LOVE garlic, so I go for a complete substitution.

Again, no photo. Actually, here’s another of Nick harvesting scapes today.

Put chopped scapes into burgers! Nick is good at making burgers (grassfeed beef or lamb, or veggie burgers with black beans or lentils). We do not eat them with buns because they’re too good, and usually too small actually (plus we don’t have buns). In any case, chop up some scapes and mix them with your burger material. Grill or fry them. A few thin slices of sharp cheddar on top definitely doesn’t hurt, nicely melted. You will love it. Meat eaters, you can get LAMB at both of our farmers markets. I am less certain about beef. Valley Pasture Farm (Menononie FM) raises beef cattle, but they are currently out of their grassfed ground beef because it’s just that good.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your scapes!!

-ppp

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