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Don't Let Garlic Scapes Go To Waste

If you planted garlic last year, it’s time to cut off those curlicues that are growing on the top. Called ‘scapes,’ these are actually the flower stems with buds beginning to form. Cutting them off will help force the garlic bulbs that are growing so happily underground to put on the size they need before it’s time to harvest. The scapes are a delicious by-product of garlic growing, making a unique side dish when grilled with a little oil. They are also great chopped up in salads and stir-frys, or chopped into pasta.

To grill or roast, you can keep them whole and drizzle a little olive oil on them before you cook them. They don’t take very long, and they are very elegant on the plate when they are cooked whole.

You can also turn them into refrigerator pickles. Take about 15 scapes and curl them up. Stuff them artfully into a pint jar with a small hot pepper if you want. Heat a cup of vinegar with a heaping tablespoon of sugar and a heaping tablespoon of kosher salt. Boil gently and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved and pour the liquid over the scapes in the jar. Cover with a canning lid and ring and store in the refrigerator until you can’t wait any more (a month if possible) and enjoy. I’m making those pickles today, (July 14) and I’m guessing that the garlic will be ready to harvest just about the same time the pickles will be ready to eat.