With just a short window of opportunity, garlic scapes enrich our taste buds with tangy pleasure.
Garlic scapes are the firm shoots emerging and curling from the center of the garlic plant. The best eating stage only lasts for a short time before they lose their firmness, texture and optimum flavor.
For many years we would cut these odd looking shoots off and put them in the compost pile, not knowing how great they were for eating. We only knew that if you leave them on the plant, they would hinder the garlic bulbs from getting large. We finally became educated and now eagerly wait for that special, scape time of year.
Kim O’Donnel waits all year long for that special time of year when scapes come to her farmers’ market. Kim is a freelance food writer and author of the Meat Lovers’ Meatless Cookbook. Kim describes this special season as,
“With a tangle of green curlicued shoots in your midst, you aren’t just eating seasonally; you’re literally eating in the moment.”
Besides being a flavorful enhancement to pesto, we like to chop and blend them up fresh with onions, chive shoots and flowers, and other herbs to create a power packed seasoning for baked sweet potato or regular potato fries. Oh so good!