“Garlic WHAT?” Get excited for one of spring’s most anticipated farm-fresh delights– garlic scapes! Scapes are the wild shoots that spring from the tops of garlic plants. Their color is springtime green, and the shoots can be thick or thin, curved or corkscrewed, and vary in height. They also come with leaves, which are more similar to leeks or green onion, and are also edible! Garlic scapes have a mild garlic fragrance and a mellow garlic flavor. The scapes are meant to be cut from growing garlic in order to help the garlic grow. So it’s a win-win for the farmer and us, the cooks!
Here at Greenling DFW, our garlic scapes come to us from Paul of Mexas Farm. Paul helps Greenling stay green and sustainable by taking some of our compost! We’re happy to keep the circle going by serving up Paul’s delicious garlic scapes this season. Stumped for how to cook these beauties?
10 Things To Do With Garlic Scapes
1. Pickle ’em
Because who doesn’t love pickles? These pretty pickled Garlic Scapes are so simple, even pickling/canning novices can enjoy.
2. Make Pesto
Pesto is a delicious spread to keep handy- wonderful for any number of pastas, as a spread on sandwiches, a base for salad dressings and sauces, or simply eaten with a nice chunk of bread. You can throw in other herbs or green leafy things too.
3. Wrap ’em in Bacon
For meat eaters, there’s really nothing better than something wrapped in bacon. Show off the flavor of spring while keeping your carnivorous friends happy.
Like with garlic itself, roasting the scapes brings out their sweetness, making for a lovely side dish. Simply toss the washed scapes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 450 for 5-7 minutes, until browned nicely. If you’d like to use the leaves too, roast them for 5 minutes first.
5. Use Raw
Like the spring onion greens we’ve also seen this season, they’re terrific raw! Thinly chop the shoots and add to a tuna or chicken salad, stir into hot rice or scatter over a salad, the way you might scatter sliced scallions or an herb.
Garlic scapes are excellent for stir-fry dishes as they don’t compete with stronger flavored ingredients, but rather complement them with a sweet succulent character. Try this recipe for vegetarian Stir-Fry with Garlic Scapes, Carrots, and Shiitake Mushrooms. You can also use those leaves, just stir-fry longer.
7. Gift Infused Vinegar
For fresh vegetable salads, only the best dressing will do- and what’s better than a salad dressing you made yourself? Make your own Garlic Scape Vinegar and gift to friends and family throughout the summer. Simply add olive oil + a squeeze of lemon for a beautiful salad dressing! Photo and recipe by Catie Baumer Schwalb, pitchforkdiaries.com.
8. Make Spring Soup
Take advantage of everything green to make a beautiful spring soup: Garlic Scape, Spinach, and Pea Soup! Serve it hot if you wish, or cold as a starter on a hot summer day.
9. Make Mayonnaise
After you make your own mayonnaise, you’ll never want to buy store-bought again. Fresh garlic scapes give this mayo a delicious boost for potato salads, sandwiches, and more!
10. Wait for the bulbs to bloom!
Paul of Mexas Farm says if you aren’t a huge fan of garlic, simply use as a springtime bouquet! The little bulbs will bloom in about a week, turning into pretty purple fuzzballs. Perfect for outdoor barbeques or garden parties.
Photos above are from the linked recipe.