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The Great Scapes

scapes1Before last week, I didn’t know what garlic scapes were. I’d never seen them, smelled them, or touched them, and I most certainly did not know where they came from. But our Harmony Valley farm share delivered local, organic scapes to Minneapolis last week - and oh, how far my family has come in one short week.

According to Mother Earth News:

If you grow your own garlic or have a good farmer’s market, then you can enjoy a new kind of vegetable — garlic scapes. The scapes are the flower stems that garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature. Growers often remove the scapes to push the plant’s energy toward bigger bulbs, and when harvested while they are young and tender, the scapes are delicious.

Garlic scape enthusiasts are many - they include pretty much everyone who’s tried them in the right season. I’m happy to count myself as one of them now, thanks to an incredible meal my wife cooked the other day. The scampi-like recipe, as much as one exists, went down something like this:

  1. First the scapes were sauteed in the olive oil, and shrimp were coated in flour.
  2. Next, white wine, lemon, and the shrimp were added to the pan.
  3. Next, butter was added, and the whole thing came together.
  4. Finally, the perfectly cooked shrimp and scapes were served over gnocchi.

We drank Francis Coppola’s Russian River Valley Viognier with the meal, and frankly, I’m not through raving about it. The garlic scapes, true to what I’d heard, tasted very much like garlic - not terribly surprising, I realize, since they are garlic. But their texture was much more like cooked green beans. Plus, as you can see from the picture above, they look really cool. I hope we get them again soon.

This post was proudly submitted to Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays and Real Food Wednesdays.

Comments

I believe we’ll be getting garlic scapes for the next few weeks, at least I think we did last year. We made garlic scape and spinach pesto last year that we really enjoyed. From the HV site: Spinach and Scape Pesto Puree: 1/2 bag spinach, 1/2 c. grated parmesan or romano cheese, 1/4 c. toasted nuts (pine or walnut), 5 or 6 scapes, 1/2c. olive oil. S&P to taste. 4 or 5 basil leaves can be added if you wish
I was just wondering what to do with the scapes. Both the scampi and Moe’s spinach-basil-scape pesto sound yummy, I’ll have to try those
Thanks for helping us introduce scapes to our customers.
Yeah I fell in love with garlic once we started raising our own garlic. They now make up at least half the reason we raise garlic. They are also great oiled and grilled. But this year we made pesto with walnuts and had it on pasta. I highly recommend it if you get the chance.
Mmmmm… I make a garlic scape pesto, but never thought to put spinach in it too! Makes me kind of wish that I hadn’t decided to do spinach as a fall crop this year!
Garlic scapes are amazing! I *love* them so much. I’m glad you shared about your experience getting to know them. Cheers, KristenM (AKA FoodRenegade)
The season for garlic scapes is pretty short, so if you want to enjoy their taste longer, you can free them or make your own homemade garlic scape spice. Just dice them up small and dehydrate them until they are fully dry (like the chive spice you find in containers). Then, grind them in a spice or coffee mill (or using a mortar and pestle) to a powdery texture for spice. If you prefer them to be the texture of chives, then just leave them be.
Mmm… garlic scapes! Sounds delicious. I’ll have to make it to the farmers market and look for them this weekend!
TOTALLY delicious, Alyss. Thanks for the note. Did you find them at the market?
Hi Hugging the Coast (cool blog, BTW), Thanks for stopping by and for your great suggestion! -Lee
Thanks Kristen, I’m late to the party, but at least I made eventually. -Lee
Thanks Rick, the pesto is a slam dunk, will do!
When it comes to scapes, the pleasure is all mine.
Hey Moe, thanks for the tip. See you Sunday. -Lee

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