The garlic scapes are the little curly part of the plant that grows as the garlic matures. The scape will continue to grow and eventually will grow straight in the air. When it is straight in the air this is the indication the plant is ready to harvest.
Garlic Scapes how to use them
We actually cut all the garlic scapes back leaving about 2 inches on the garlic plant itself. We leave one scape per row at least so we can watch the scape and know when the garlic is ready to harvest. Although you can also tell the garlic is ready to harvest because the plant starts to turn yellow and dry up.
You can leave the scapes on the garlic plants if you choose to. We take ours off so the plant can focus the energy of growing on the bulb instead of putting most of the energy into the scape. If you choose to leave the scapes a small little bulb will continue to develop. The scape is tender when it is smaller. As it matures it becomes more woody and tough. When the plant matures there will be garlic seeds in the little bulb at the end of the scape.
These little seeds can be planted. We wait to plant ours after we prepare the ground in the fall and plant the others. You plant them just as you would the cloves maybe not going quite as deep after all the seeds are smaller and will not have as much energy to get out of the ground as the clove of garlic.
The little seeds will grow a small little clove in the springtime and in turn it can be used or you can replant it again in the fall to grow a bulb of garlic. I really enjoy watching and growing garlic. It is such an interesting plant.
Now back to what can you do with the scape. The scape has a pretty strong garlic flavor. I used the scapes just as I would garlic. It added a garlic flavor making our food taste wonderful.
We also made a pesto sauce using it on a chicken pizza. It was really good adding just the perfect hint of garlic flavor. The extra pesto sauce we put into freezer bags.
We also pureed the scapes and put them into the freezer. We added just enough to each baggie to make a thin layer. We then put them in the freezer laying them flat on a cookie sheet. After they were frozen we could then use the whole bag or break off pieces to use in cooking.
I have wondered how it would work to dry the garlic scapes in pieces and put them into different dishes. I think this is something I will try this year. I think I will also try and infused garlic scapes oil. Be sure and sign up for my newsletter and I will let you know how it goes.
Here are a few other ways you could use scapes.
- Scape butter – great on garlic bread
- Add to vegetables
- Use them in a stir-fry for a wonderful garlic flavor
- Great for salads
- Good in pasta
- Try them in casseroles
- Add to butter for pan-fried fish
- Great in salad dressings and vegetable dips
- Tasty in egg dishes
Garlic scapes are not only great to add flavor to your food but they are also good for you. The benefits are similar to the garlic cloves. They are high in vitamin C, may help with digestive function, may help flush out the liver and kidney to detoxify the body.
There are many benefits to eating garlic and the best part is the way it makes your food taste.
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