Using Garlic Scapes

If you planted your garlic late last fall before the first frost, you are probably ready to harvest the scapes–the twisty little pointy part growing on the stalk from the middle of the leaves. Scapes are the flower stalks of the garlic plant, though garlic doesn’t produce actual flowers. 

We cut them off early in the season so that the plan uses its energy in growing large bulbs instead. Also, earlier cuts have milder flavors. The flavor of the scapes get stronger and more harsh the longer they grow. 

Instead of throwing them out, here are five ways you can use them:

  1. Slice them up like regular garlic. The flavor isn’t as strong as regular garlic, but it is still there, so you can slice up the scapes and include them in any dish that you want garlic in. Or, since the flavor is mild, you can cut them in larger segments and use them like you would use green onions in a salad. 
  2. Add them to aioli. Garlicky aioli is a wonderful dip/spread. Use some garlic scapes in place of garlic cloves. The final mixture will be pale green. 
  3. Make a pesto. This is a great addition to a homemade pizza
  4. Pickle them. Cut them into 2in segments and use your favorite vinegar pickle brine
  5. Add them to scrambled eggs (1/8-1/4in segments) or to omelettes (1/2-1in segments). SautĂ© them in a little butter first to soften them up, then add them to your eggs. They add a wonderful mild garlic flavor to your breakfast. We like adding salt, pepper, and grated pecorino. 

I used one in scrambled eggs right after I picked ours:

We’re probably going to use the rest of ours in omelettes. How do you like using garlic scapes? Let me know in the comments! 

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