A Blog and Farmcast About a Vegetable Farm and Then Some
Garlic scapes usually make an appearance for a couple of weeks in mid-June through early July. This year, they have arrived a bit early with all the warm and dry weather. The scapes grow out the top of the garlic plant, while the garlic cloves/bulbs grow underground. The 1 inch long bulbous portion of the scape contains bulbils or miniature bulbs. In theory, one could plant those bulbils when they mature and then harvest garlic two years later. Most people just save a certain amount of the cloves and plant those.
I know that some people believe that cutting the scapes off causes the plant to focus energy to the cloves. I have also heard that is doesn’t change the yield. I don’t know one way or the other, but I do know that cutting the scapes has no adverse effect on the garlic. Instead, it’s a nice early allium crop!
Garlic scapes are milder than there subterranean sister, the clove. I compare them to a scallion vs an onion. In fact, you can use them in much the same way you would a scallion. Scapes are excellent in stir fries, added to eggs or meat rubs, or in a dish like mashed potatoes. If you have enough, they can also be turned in to a garlic scape pesto!
I like the idea of making a Cannellini Bean Dip with Garlic Scapes. In many ways, it’s similar to the pesto above, but with some cannellini beans for texture and body.
Grilling them is a great option too. It’ll bring out the sugars a bit and mellow out the garlic pepperiness.
“Another way we love to use scapes: dicing them small and incorporating them into burgers, turkey or beef. Great little crunch and garlic flavor.” – Nate, New Gloucester, ME