Friday, July 14, 2017

The Garlic Scape Journey

Last fall I planted garlic cloves.  I'm not sure how many but I have about 90 heads of garlic with very few gaps so I am guessing I planted about 100 cloves.  All heirloom varieties.

If you are unfamiliar with the growing cycle of garlic, the "seed" is a single clove of garlic.  Planted in the fall.  It requires the hard freeze during winter to properly complete it's life and growing cycle. {i, on the other hand, do not require the hard winter freeze and hate life for far too many cold month of the year up here.}  In the spring, garlic is one of the first signs of green to emerge out of the ground.  Eventually forming a tall plant with several leaves on either side and a single hard neck in the center.  That hard neck will begin to form a flower head as it starts to go to seed.  

That part of the garlic is called the garlic scape, and it's delicious.  Simply snap it off as you would with asparagus before the neck straightens out and gets too tough.  They're delicious used in any way you would use garlic, but with a milder flavor.  I used them in lots of pasta dishes, sautéed greens, garlic scape basil pesto {all homegrown thankyouverymuch}, and pickled garlic scapes.

It's been so much fun to have such a giant harvest to play with this spring!  Three cheers to the probably fancy pants big city chef who made scapes popular so fools like me know to savor this secondary but equally lovely garlic crop!

What are your favorite ways to use garlic scapes?  Have you ever tried them pickled?  Any suggestions on how I could use them?


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