In 2012 I joined my first CSA in Iowa City. Early in the summer season, I received a curious green shoot called a garlic scape. I came to learn that scapes are the curly tops of hard neck garlic that produces a flower. These shoots are cut just before the flower blooms which redirects energy to bulb growth. The scapes are packed with fresh garlic flavor, and slightly less punch. I like to chop it up and use it in place of garlic in most of my recipes, but here are a few of my scape-specific favorites.
|The curly stems on these garlic plants are called 'scapes'|
This infused oil can be used for cooking or drizzled over salads for a mild garlic flavor.
- 2 cups mild oil, such as canola
- 3-4 scapes
Garlic Scape Stir-Fry
This is a base recipe for a stir-fry I make often in the summer. I typically use whatever vegetables are in my fridge at the time, so the recipe can adapt to the seasons. If you would like to make this without meat, mushrooms are a wonderful, savory substitute.
- ½ cup garlic scapes, roughly chopped
- 1 med onion, halved and cut into thin slices
- 1 lb cubed beef
- ⅔ cup peas (fresh or frozen)
- ⅔ cup broccoli (fresh or frozen)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup hoisin (also called Peking sauce)
- 1 tbsp raw sugar
- 2 tbsp oil
Recipe - Garlic Scape and Arugula Pesto
As promised - here is the recipe for the sample provided during one of our CSA distributions this season.Chop the scapes into approximately 1 in. pieces. Place in a food processor along with the arugula. Pulse until well chopped, then remove the lid, scrape down with a rubber spatula and add the oil, lemon juice and salt. Pulse to combine, scrape down once more, then process for about 30 seconds until everything has been chopped very fine. The pesto should look shiny and moist, but not too oily. Add a bit more olive oil if needed, and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- 1 bunch of garlic scapes (~10)
- 1 packed cup arugula
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup olive oil (plus more as needed)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp kosher salt