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Garlic scapes

How do you prep them? What part do you use, the top of the stem (it is woody and fibrous), the bulb, or the root end?

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  1. I either make pesto with them or cook them on the grill.

    1 Reply
    1. re: angelsmom

      Even better, if you are lucky enough to get them at the same time: scape/ramp pesto.

    2. The bulb at the top turns into a flower. Here's a link to show you what it will look like.


      I usually cut that off. I've never received any leaves, just the curly stems. Trim them and use as much of them as you can. Love just grinding them up with cheese for pasta or a sandwich spread. Freezes well.

      4 Replies
      1. re: nemo

        Scape pesto with pistachios is delicious.

        1. re: magiesmom

          Just scapes with pistachios and olive oil. Cheese?

          1. re: Leepa

            I make mine with the scapes, chopped beforehand, then walnuts, oil, and finely grated cheese stirred in at the end.

            I cut off the flower end which I save to slice up and add to stir fried zucchini or other veggies.

      2. I think the pesto idea sounds great. A few days ago I found some at the Farmer's Market and it was my first time with scapes and I read that they are good sauteed. Well, I found the texture to be way too woody and chewy for that so I think pesto would be great to get the flavor and eliminate the not so pleasant mouthfeel.

        1. It sounds to me like you are describing young or spring garlic, not garlic scapes. The scape is the thin shoot that comes up out of the middle of the plant and, as nemo said, will eventually flower at the top. It kind of looks like the green part of a scallion but firmer. The bulb is what will eventually turn into full-grown head of garlic. I don't eat the leaves - they are tough and unpleasant.

          The bulb (root end) is delicious. Last week I used chopped raw spring garlic bulbs (including some of the light green part of the stem) and sauteed thinly sliced garlic scapes to make aglio e olio. Regular cured garlic is too strong for my taste to use raw in this dish, but the spring garlic was perfect, and the scapes added a pretty green color along with the garlic flavor.

          5 Replies
          1. re: lisavf

            Here's a picture, can you tell which these are?

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Those are scapes. Your bounty looks beautiful!!

              1. re: lisavf

                Thanks, I must admit I'm itching for Sunday to roll around again as the pickles and salsa magically disappeared in 2 days. Perhaps I'll try the garlic scape pesto if I spot them again this weekend.

              2. re: fldhkybnva

                Those are scapes. The "bulby" looking thing is actually the flower bud and is the top of the stem. Yours have no root, as it's just the flowering shoot that has been cut off to allow the garlic bulb underground to develop. I always cut off the flower bud because I find it's usually tough.

                1. re: Nyleve

                  Yea, I wasn't sure whether to eat the bulb or not so decided against it but thanks for the information for next time.

            2. I make pesto or I mince them finely and put them in salads. I haven't done much longer slower cooking but i have heard that they are really good. They have a sharp raw garlic taste so you can put them in salads or other dishes if you are looking for that.

              You can use the whole thing, but I find that if I don't use them right away the tip past the flower dries out so I cut that part off.

              1. Scapes are a bit of seasonal fun. I throw them in anywhere I'd use garlic, scallions or even sometimes onions (though I usually put the onions in too; spring onions are awesome).

                This week alone I threw some in with the spinach, sauteed some with julienned vegetables (added nice color along with the flavor), threw them in with the onions in a fajita and scattered chopped bits of them over a hummus.

                  1. I made my first batch of garlic scape pesto tonight - delicious! My scapes were very sweet, so I ended up adding a couple of cloves of garlic to add a little pungency. I used raw almonds for the nut element - their sweetness worked well, but I could see pistachios being excellent as well. Plenty of olive oil, a little parmeggiano and salt and we were good to go!

                    I still have a half pound or so left - I'm considering roasting them. Will report back!

                    1. When I used my scapes I cut them all up Sautéed with olive oil s &p to taste and poured over pasta with Parmesan cheese it was Delicious try it.

                      1. Pesto works quite nicely. I also love roasting them in the oven. I imagine this would be a similar result to the grilling mentioned above. I just toss them in a pan with some par-boiled potatoes, herbs and S&P, then roast for about an hour, give or take. They caramelize and get very crispy and crunchy, almost like a cracker texture--totally removes the fibrous character they otherwise have.

                        1. Cut off the top above the joint and use the bottom. They are great on pizza and boiled with fresh green beans. Cooking gives them a mild garlic flavor. They are pungent raw.

                          1. cut off the woody ends and quick saute them, finishing with ume plum vinegar, yuzo vinegar and/or ponzu sauce. delish as a side dish or mixed into rice or an omelet.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: mariacarmen

                              I tried to saute and they were quite fibrous. Do I just need to saute them longer?

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                If scales are fibrous or woody, I suspect they were picked too late. I pick mine before the scape makes a full circle. If they make a second circle, they have gotten too old. When you see them for sale, you can see how much of a circle they make.

                                1. re: dfrostnh

                                  I'm not sure which circle you're referring to, the entire stalk? Here is a picture of the scapes I used, is this consider not a full circle?

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    Yeah, mine are curled more than yours. but i trimmed off the woodier ends, just like asparagus, and sauteed them til they were quite wilty.

                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                      Great, thanks. I think that's the issue, I didn't saute them that long. I'll be on the lookout at the Farmer's market but I think I remember the vendor said the season was ending soon.