Garlic scapes are the flower stem that emerges from hard-neck varieties of garlic in June. The stem of the scape winds up in wiley, wonderful, pig-tail curlicues. Before blooming, the scape will straighten out, standing up tall. Then pop open in flower. By cutting the scape before the flower blooms, we’re encouraging more energy towards development of the garlic bulb. Scapes in full curl are tender and crisp, with a mild, sweet garlic flavor.
Scapes are absolutely delicious. One of the highlights of June. Here are some ideas for how to enjoy your scapes: add to scrambled eggs, quiche, pesto, hummus, pizza topping, garlic scape butter, pasta sauce, roasted with mixed vegetables, pickled, in a stir fry, a garnish on soups and salads, with bacon.
Garlic Scape Pesto
- 10 large garlic scapes
- 1/3 cup unsalted walnuts (or pine nuts)
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
In a food processor, puree the garlic scapes, walnuts, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the opening. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. The pesto will keep well in the fridge, covered, for 1 week or frozen for a month.
Recipe adapted from The Farm by Ian Knauer, original also posted on Epicurious. Or you might try mixing things up with pistachios and lemon, as in this recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto from SimpleSeasonal – thanks, Rebecca, for sharing this one. Oh yum.