Ever heard of garlic scapes? No? Me neither until I decided to grow hard-neck garlic in my garden. What is a garlic scape you may be wondering? A garlic scape is the coveted edible flower stem of hard-neck garlic plants. They are often added to dishes for their mild peppery flavor and can even be pickled. I am excited to uncover the many uses of a garlic scape!
You can eat the entire garlic scape raw or cooked. The most tender part is below the bulb in the middle of the scape. Since the part above the bulb can be tough it is best to use below the bulb in recipes where you are not cooking the scapes. To avoid waste, you can use the part above the bulb in soups.
In my quest to make something out of my first yield of garlic scapes, pesto seemed like a great option. Simple and versatile. The first night I had it on pasta and it was incredible! I’m a big fan of basil pesto pasta. Its pretty much a staple I grew up with in the summer months, my mother always making her own pesto from scratch. This pesto pasta, definitely had a kick! And I loved it. I saved the rest in a small mason jar so I can add it to basically everything. So far I’ve made a few pasta dishes, eaten it with cheese and crackers as a dip, and it was a great topper to add to baked fish! If you make a larger batch you can freeze it as well. Getting out the food processor is not always an easy feat so it’s a good one to make ahead. When freezing you may want to leave out the cheese to use fresh cheese when the meal is served.
Note: If your scapes are too strong you may want to use the lower end listed in the ingredients. Or give them a quick dunk in boiling water to mellow the spice.