WHAT ARE GARLIC SCAPES?
Ever wondered what those strange green curlicues you've seen at the market in bunches or bushels are? Those are garlic scapes! Garlic scapes are incredible and not surprisingly taste like mild but spicy garlic. If you've ever grown garlic in your backyard, you've seen garlic scapes - they shoot up in the late spring and look positively alien. These immature stems are cut in late spring/early summer to promote garlic bulb growth underground. When I see garlic scapes at the market I applaud that first person that made garlic scapes popular - how brilliant they were to make a natural byproduct of growing garlic such a marketable commodity. Three cheers for delicious ingenuity!
HOW TO BUY + STORE GARLIC SCAPES
Garlic scapes can be found in May and June where garlic is grown. They are typically found at farmers markets but can be found in some upscale grocers. Look for bright green, firm scapes. They can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week and freeze fairly well.
HOW TO USE GARLIC SCAPES
Garlic scapes can be used in place of garlic in most applications. When cooked they have a slightly milder garlic flavour but when raw can be a bit on the spicy side. To prepare - cut off the flowering end and if the bottom stalks are woody give those a trim as well.
10 WAYS TO USE GARLIC SCAPES
- Pesto! Making pesto is a great way to preserve the glorious taste of garlic scapes for the whole year. I have a recipe below for a dairy-free, paleo pesto that freezes really well.
- Pickle! I love to pickle scapes to use on impressive charcuterie plates later in the year or to make vinaigrette with the brine. Serious Eats has a great pickled scape recipe.
- Raw! Scapes are great where you would use green onions or garlic. I like to slice them into thin coins and add them to salads or vinaigrettes.
- Grilled! Grilling scapes is simple and delicious. Toss them with olive oil, balsamic and a touch of salt and grill for about 5 minutes until slightly softened.
- Chimichurri! Top your grilled meat or fish with a garlic scape chimichurri. Substitute garlic scapes for garlic in this Bon Appetite chimichurri recipe.
- Roasted! Scapes can be roasted in a 400F oven for about 25 minutes, lightly tossed with olive oil, balsamic and seasoned with salt and pepper. They would make a great accompaniment to roasted asparagus or mini potatoes.
- Broth! Adding garlic scapes when you are making bone broth or chicken stock recipe will lend a nice garlic hint to the finished product.
- Butter! I make compound butters for big bowls of warm new potatoes when we have large BBQs. Mixing fresh herbs and sliced garlic scapes to grass-fed butter and tossing with warm vegetables or potatoes is a truly glorious way to celebrate summer flavours for a large group.
- Vinaigrette! Using a high speed blender combine 1/2 cup of garlic scapes, 2/3 cup of avocado oil and 1/3 cup of white wine vinegar, salt + pepper, a teaspoon of honey and you've got a lovely vinaigrette to top fresh greens or grilled veggies.
- Frittata! What can't you add to a frittata? Eggs and garlic scapes are a great combination - add sliced garlic scapes to a frittata or scrambled eggs for a quick and easy breakfast.
garlic scape pesto
makes about 1 cup
15 garlic scapes - cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup pine nuts
3/4 - 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Put garlic scapes, cashews, pine nuts and red wine vinegar into a food processor or high powered blender.
Blend/process the mixture until nuts and scapes form a paste, drizzling extra-virgin olive oil slowly into the processor/blender until you achieve the consistency you desire for all your pesto needs.
tag #frompastatopaleo on Instagram to show me your finished dishes!