Garlic Scapes are the flower stems that garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature. We remove the scapes to push the plant’s energy toward bigger bulbs, and when harvested while they are young and tender, the scapes are delicious.
Selection and Storage: You can keep scapes in the refrigerator for a month or more, in a paper bag to avoid turning them into a slimy science project. They freeze well, too–blanched or not–but they tend to lose some of the garlicky heat during long storage below freezing. Even if they lose some flavor, scapes from the freezer add a great texture and color to dishes long after scape season has passed.
Culinary Uses: Garlic scapes can be used in any recipe that calls for garlic, but they really shine when used lightly cooked or raw in recipes, when their tender texture and light garlic flavor can be appreciated. Some ideas include:
- Chop scapes and mix with softened cream cheese (or sour cream) for a simple spread.
- Puree with your favorite dip to give it a subtle garlicky punch and a cool shade of green.
- Scapes also work well as a vegetable, cut into lengths and added to stir-fries or blanched and added to salads, much as you might use green beans.
- Grill scapes, tossed in a little olive oil with salt and pepper. Grilled scapes are surprisingly reminiscent of asparagus, and surprisingly different from raw scapes.
- Chop scapes and add raw to salads or egg dishes.