Garlic scapes: All greens should be this pretty

I loved these the moment I saw them. They were long and curly and smelled a bit like garlic. I had no idea what they were. But we now had a handful of them thanks to our CSA farm.

Turns out garlic scapes are as flavourful as they are pretty. They’re the stems from garlic bulbs, so they have a mild garlicky taste. You can chop them up and use them in just about anything. So far, they’ve been a great side dish in two recent meals.

Here’s one easy recipe:

  1. Cut off the tips of the scapes, then cut into large pieces
  2. Heat pan to medium, add about 1 tbsp of unsalted butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil
  3. Add scapes and move them around. Sauté until they start to brown
  4. Finish with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon
I tried a recipe from 2 Sisters Garlic and ended up modifying it a bit since I didn’t have all the ingredients. Here’s what I used:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 4 oz garlic scapes (tips cut off)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (chunks)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • pepper
  • salt
Now follow these easy steps:
  1. Heat oil in pan, add sugar
  2. Stir to caramelize for 2-3 minutes
  3. Add scapes, cover and sauté over medium heat for up to 3 min (don’t scorch!)
  4. Add tomatoes and wine, stir
  5. Cover and reduce heat to low, cook 5-6 min or until scapes are tender
  6. Season with salt and pepper
Apparently scapes are only available in early summer. Too bad.  They’re so versatile. I’d like to use them all year round.
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11 Comments on “Garlic scapes: All greens should be this pretty”

  1. Shawn Hirtle says:

    Mmmm. Picture using scapes along with spinach, shredded carrot, and onion briefly stir fried with Korean glass noodles. Korean dishes can be heavily garliced, but the scapes would lend a lighter, fresher summer touch of bulb vs. the more intense cloves of garlic. Let’s save that for winter, n’est pas?

  2. Tom C says:

    If it’s got noodles, count me in!

  3. Shawn Hirtle says:

    Speaking of cooking with the tops of roots or bulbs… I was trying to figure out if the tops of parsnips are edible additions to a green salad; however, I didn’t come away with clarity from doing some web searches, etc. There are references to handling wild parsnip greens can cause nasty burns when your skin is then exposed to sunlight, but I’m left wondering whether cultivated parsnip has useable/edible greens. I’d love to see people weigh in with advice/experiences???!!

  4. Tom C says:

    You may have something there!

  5. Karen says:

    They had tons ( I exaggerate) of garlic scapes at the farmers market the other day and I walked past since I had never prepared them. The season is short…if they have them next time I’ll be sure to get some.

    • Tom C says:

      We haven’t yet tried it but apparently Garlic Scape Pesto is fantastic! We’ll give it a go and post the results. Let me know what you think when you try them Karen. Ciao…

  6. this looks great. homegrown food is so much better, and my mouth is watering¬!

  7. […] vegetables: onions, zucchini,  garlic, garlic scapes, red peppers, green onions, beets (cut into 1/2” […]


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