Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kristy Rustay — Garlic Scapes

I harvested almost 40 garlic scapes
from my garden on Sunday.

If you haven’t done so already, pick your garlic scapes. If you leave them too long, they get woody and you have wasted a once-a-year culinary treat. Also, cutting the scapes benefits your garlic — it allows more nutrients to go to the head of the garlic and thereby produces a larger bulb.

If you have never cooked with scapes before, they are delicious, and there are numerous ways they can be used. You can stir-fry them, grill them, or mince them and serve raw over salad or as garnish; they can be used in pesto and hummus; or you can pickle them (on their own or with beans, cukes, carrots, etc.). You can get these great recipes and more from The Garlic Farm website, plus storage tips for your scapes.

My garden helper, Josslyn, tested the scapes for quality.

I picked my garlic scapes this weekend, and I may have let them go a week too long. Most of the scape was still usable for recipes, but the ends were beginning to get too tough to use. With the tender parts, I made a basil and garlic scape pesto and a garlic scape hummus. Some parts were too tough to cook with, so I stuck a few of the woody ends in olive oil — I will use my garlic-infused oil for cooking and in salad dressings.

I put the tough ends of the garlic scapes in olive oil.
It will make a nice garlic-infused oil for cooking and salad dressing.

I have already eaten some of my scapes. I sprinkled some minced and raw over dinner salads. I made pesto “pizzas” by spreading the garlic scape pesto over fresh sliced artisan bread, topping it with tomatoes and Asiago cheese, and baking it in the oven for 15 minutes. I also made a garlic scape hummus. I snacked on it with sliced cucumber — it was so fresh and summery!

After all those uses, I still had a lot left over. I put the whole scapes into a paper bag, then into the produce drawer of the refrigerator. According to The Garlic Farm website, they will keep up to a month! I also froze most of the pesto in an ice cube tray. Once I had frozen pesto cubes, I put the cubes into a freezer bag to be used when needed for up to a year.

Don’t let your scapes go to waste!

1 comment:

ilona sherratt said...

I like them cut into 1 inch pieces and sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper, then eaten like any vegetable such as green beans.