Garlic scapes are a lot like asparagus — in season around springtime, spear-like and pointy, crispy but tender, and gets tougher towards the root end. It is naturally fragrant when fresh but releases an agreeable mild garlic aroma once a bit of heat is applied.
Garlic scapes have an eye-catching curliness that makes you want to pick up a bundle and whip it around just to see if it springs back to shape. Don’t flog it too hard — the shape of the garlic scape stems is a good indicator of freshness. The more it resembles a pig’s tail or corkscrew, the younger and more tender it is. Avoid garlic scapes that have almost straightened out if you don’t feel like gnawing on green curly chopsticks.
12 Uses for Garlic Scapes
- Use as you would asparagus. I bet you saw that coming.
- Add to an omelet or a frittata, a.k.a. the ultimate refrigerator velcro.
- Makes salads and pasta a bit more interesting. It has “secret ingredient” potential.
- Grill, roast, or broil with olive oil and salt.
- Keep it raw and make some garlic scape pesto.
- Garlic scapes sautéed in butter are excellent with mashed or lightly browned diced potatoes for a quick side dish.
- Creamy garlic scape soup seems right up my alley but I have yet to try it.
- Pickles! This Korean recipe for pickled whole garlic will work beautifully with scapes.
- Puree with your favorite dips to give it a subtle garlicky punch and a cool shade of green.
- Stir-fry with rice, noodles, vegetables, or meats.
- Deep-fried with a light tempura-like batter maybe?
- Add finely chopped garlic scapes to bread dough. Yeah, that’s a bit of a stretch so I’m stopping here.