Tutorial: 13 Uses For Garlic Scapes
I should have had this post out a month ago when Garlic Scapes started to appear in Produce Markets. Ah well, it didn’t happen. I’m still seeing them in the odd Produce Store but I suspect you won’t see them around for too much longer. I decided to go ahead and post this tutorial anyhow, with the idea that I will repost it earlier in the season next year.
Are you familiar with Garlic Scapes? I first read about them just last year but wasn’t brave enough to try them. They look a bit exotic, don’t you think?
Well this year, I grabbed a bunch at the start of the season and have been smitten ever since. They may look exotic but they’re really not. Basically you can use them as a replacement in any recipe that calls for fresh garlic, although one of my favourite ways is to have them simply grilled on the barbecue. Fresh young Scapes have a subtle garlic flavour. So yum!
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden patch where you’ve planted garlic, Scapes are the top part of the plant, or the flower stems that garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature. You can pick Scapes when they first appear. They will be tender and delicious but the longer you wait, the more intense the heat and flavour. Pick just before or as soon as the first loop appears on the scape.
When eating raw Scapes, you should use the part below the bulge where the flower bud begins. The entire scape is edible but the texture of the flower bud is different and the part above it is stiff, yet hollow like a green onion. You can use the tops as a fancy garnish for your dish, or tuck them away in the freezer to add to your homemade vegetable broth.
If you can’t use Scapes right away, like most vegetables, you can freeze them for later use. Chop into small pieces and blanch or steam for a couple of minutes, immerse in cold water to cool, drain and then freeze them in freezer bags.
Note: In cooking, one tablespoon of chopped frozen Garlic Scapes is equal to a medium garlic clove.
13 Uses For Garlic Scapes
- Let’s start with my favourite, Grilled Garlic Scapes – Lightly brush Garlic Scapes with oil and roast or grill them until partly browned but still crisp tender. On a hot barbecue grill, cook 2-3 minutes per side, or roast in a 425°F oven for 5-6 mins, turn and continue cooking for another 5-6 mins. You can knot Scapes together to make it easier to turn them.
- Finely chop fresh raw Garlic Scapes and add to salad as a topping in place of green onions.
- Cut into 1-2 inch lengths and add to your favourite Stir-Fry dish.
- Finely chop and add to pasta sauces, or use them to make Garlic Scape Pesto. Add one small bunch, or about 1/3 Cup chopped to a regular pesto recipe (omit garlic cloves if called for in your recipe).
- Add Scapes to your homemade vegetable broth or chop to add to soups.
- Sprinkle finely chopped raw Scapes on top of your soup, as a garnish in place of green onions.
- Omit garlic cloves, and add puréed raw Scapes to your favourite Hummus Recipe.
- Add to homemade Salsa or Guacamole in place of garlic cloves.
- Sauté chopped Garlic Scapes in a little butter and stir into hot mashed potatoes.
- Purée raw Garlic Scapes to use in a salad dressing.
- Purée sautéed Scapes to use in your favourite dip, or sauce.
- Sauté chopped Garlic Scapes in a little butter and add to scrambled eggs, an Omelette, Quiché, or Frittata.
- Use chopped Scapes as a pizza topping.
There you have it, lots of ideas on how to use Garlic Scapes. Hopefully you will still be able to find some at your local Farmers Markets, or Produce Store. If not, make sure you bookmark or Pin this post to have handy for next season.
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