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Garlic Scapes

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My husband got a gift today...a big bag of garlic scapes. What can I do with them? The grower said he makes pesto. Anything else?

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  1. You can use them just as you would regular garlic cloves.

    Here is a site with some additional info:

    1. Gah - sometimes this site just kills me. I just tonight cooked up a bunch of garlic scapes that my neighbour gave me. Cut them into 2 to 3-inch pieces, tossed them in a large skillet with olive oil for a couple of minutes over high heat, then added chicken broth and salt and slammed a lid on it. Let them cook until tender over medium heat. They were delicious.

      1. Garlic scapes are nice to use as an addition to plain rice. If you put half of one (in one piece) in the pot along with the rice to boil it will add a subtle garlic flavor - just remove it after the rice is fully cooked. Also good in soups.

        But I have to say - pesto made from scapes with just a little salt and a small handfull of basil or other fresh herb is spicy, rich deliciousness.


        1. I know a lot of people that love scapes, but I'm not one of them. I go to great lengths to remove the scapes when my garlic gets a little old. I can't stand the taste. Onion scapes drive me bonkers too, maybe even more so.

          3 Replies
          1. re: scott123

            I think we might be talking about slightly different things. I'm not talking about the stalk that comes out of garlic when it gets old. I'm talking about the top of a garlic stalk when it is still in the ground. Perhaps these are similar in taste. But the thing I'm talking about is shaped like a three dimensional heart, and when you break it open it has small bits that resemble garlic cloves.

            1. re: Darren72

              Yes, that's what I have.
              Thanks for the suggestions. I wasn't sure if I could use them just as I would the whole cloves.
              BTW, would you keep them refridgerated?

              1. re: Darren72

                My understanding of "scape" is the stalk itself (from the ripening garlic in the ground), including the immature "flower" at the top. I've never tried cooking the larger flowers. Is that what folks are making pesto from?

            2. Garlic scapes are the whole stalky bit, including the immature flower bud. If picked before they become tough, you can cut them into pieces and use as a vegetable. I don't know what those baby garlic thingies are called that eventually form at the top - but they're not scapes.

              1. My CSA provided handfuls of lovely curly scapes about two weeks ago. I haven't used them all yet (they hold well in the fridge). But I did take a whole bunch, puree in the food processor, add two sticks of softened butter and salt to taste. Excellent garlic butter, freezes well.

                1. yum, garlic scape butter sounds good!

                  i have also been getting scapes from my csa. last night i sauteed some with chard, and last week i made a broth with them and threw in some cockles. delish.

                  but i have noticed that at the farmer's market, the white flower part is much bigger than what i've been getting from the CSA. the guy at the market said to open it up and just use the little "pearls" inside. the ones i have are so young and small, there are no such things inside, just a little bud-like thing. are you supposed to throw out all the green stalks?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ndl

                    No no no! The green stalks are the best part! Any weensy garlicky things at the top are just a bonus extra. Don't throw away the stalks!

                    1. re: Nyleve

                      oh, good. i didn't think that seemed right. i used them the first time i cooked them and they were good. thanks.

                  2. I freeze them as well to use over the winter in soups or stews or sauces or whatever. Just chop and bag and pop into the freezer.

                    1. I too scored on scapes at the market last weekend. Ate them twice this week: first in a delicious fritatta with fresh peas and mint, and then in spicy sauce zucchini over soba. Was planning on saving some for pesto, but no willpower. Will have to hunt down some more this week!