Garlic Scapes are in Season!
The first time I saw garlic scapes at a farmer’s market, I thought, “What on earth is that?!” I soon learned that garlic scapes are the lime-green, curly flower stalks of the Rocombole hard-neck garlic plant. As you can see in these photos, it’s no wonder they’re sometimes referred to as “serpent garlic.”
There are two reasons why garlic scapes are harvested this time of year:
First, they’re at their peak for flavor and texture.
Secondly, by trimming the stalks before they flower more nutrients are channeled into the garlic bulbs. This results in fragrant, plump cloves that will be ready to pick in a few months time.
Garlic scapes taste like a delicious, spicy hybrid of chives and garlic. They’re incredibly versatile, too! We were eager to share recipes for two of our favorite ways to prepare scapes: as zesty pesto or roasted. If you’re in the Westport, CT area, you can find them being sold by two wonderful local organic vendors at the Westport Farmer’s Market: Fort Hill Farm and Riverbank Farm.
Garlic Scape Pesto
This spicy pesto is wonderful on pasta, atop crostini, or tossed with tofu. It’s also great blended with this pleasantly bitter dandelion greens pesto. You can also freeze some for the fall and winter.
- 8 Garlic Scapes
- 1/3 cup or more of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon or more of Sea Salt
- Generous dash of Black Pepper
- Optional: Parmesan Cheese to taste
- Cut the garlic scapes into halves or thirds and add to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until coarsely chopped.
- Add the olive oil and process until desired consistency. 1/3 cup of olive will produce a denser pesto. Add more olive oil and process for a longer period of time for a smoother consistency.
- Add the salt, pepper, and cheese if you’re using it and pulse into pesto.
Roasted Garlic Scapes
- Garlic scapes
- Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 400˚.
- Trim the flower bud from the scape’s stem.
- Add scape stems to a roasting pan and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until slightly browned and tender.
- Enjoy! The roasted scapes are wonderful on their own or served alongside a main course. I added some to fajitas last week, which was delicious.
Recipe and photos by Sophie Slater