Garlic Scapes Are a Flavorful Summer Treat

The green shoots that emerge from young garlic plants are flavorful, versatile and ready soon.

Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes

Shortly before it’s time to harvest garlic, flower stems, or scapes, appear.

Photo by: Julie Martens Forney

Julie Martens Forney

Shortly before it’s time to harvest garlic, flower stems, or scapes, appear.

We're all familiar with the garlic plant's papery, pungent bulbs. But did you know the entire plant is edible?

The green shoots that emerge from the tops of young garlic plants are called garlic scapes. They're a popular spring delicacy among those in the know and are becoming readily available at farmer's markets and roadside stands. Plus, if you grow garlic in your garden, you may have been passing up a treat without even knowing it!

The scape's flavor is similar to garlic, but milder; and cutting them helps the rest of the garlic plant grow.

Served in pasta or pesto, in soups or infusions, you can use garlic scapes pretty much any way you'd use garlic— just expect a more mellow flavor. Here are some  recipes that incorporate garlic scapes. Enjoy!

Pickled garlic vegetables: This tangy mixture of radishes, fennel and garlic bulbs and scapes is an easy, quick crowd-pleaser.

Linguine with peas and garlic scapes: Mint and peas blend with garlic scapes in the perfect spring pasta dish.

To harvest: Watch for scapes to begin emerging in the early growing season. Pull them just as they curl up but before they grow too tall—they'll get tough. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, or gently blanch and freeze.

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