Ah, Garlic Scapes, those yummy green tops on the garlic that you are growing in your garden, or available from your favorite local garlic grower. When they reach over and start to curl into themselves.. its time for harvesting. I have been putting up between 15 to 30 pounds of these amazing scapes over the past years.. here is a round-up of my favorite ways to use them.
This is what they are going to look like freshly cut, some will be super thick and others will be smaller and thinner, some will have more of the flower bud and others will have less of one.
You will need to tip and tail each one of them as you are going to prepare them.. now I don’t mind that my hands smell of a mild garlic but if it bothers your hands, be aware that they will release a drop of garlic scape juice on the end of each cut when they are fresh and if this is an issue, I recommend that you were gloves.
This is pretty much a lovely done in pieces cut up average scape.. from here you can use them in stirfries, you can roast them, or you can pickle them or you can make them into a sauce at this point. A lot of people would take out the flower bud (second in from the left) but I personally don’t mind them.. they will be a softer bit in the pickles then the solid green.
Use #1 –Stirfry
So beautiful and such a wonderful way to add a outstanding mild version of a garlic to so many dishes. Add in half a cup of these fresh garlic Scrapes to your favorite stirfry blend.. these will also bag up and freeze and keep for a solid six months in correct freezer bags that are easy to open and take some out over the winter.
#2 Pickled Garlic Scapes
Use your basic Dill Pickle Brine
- 4 cups of water
- 4 cups of white vinegar
- 3 tbsp. of pickling spice (in a cheese cloth bag)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 half cup of canning salt
Mix together and bring to a boil.. use standard water bath canning process on jars, pack them with the cleaned, prepared scapes (you can see above some can be curled into them in rounds for serving in a tray.. most are done into bite size bit.) cover them with the brine, wipe the lip, seal and process for 15 min.
#3- Sweet Minted Scapes
- 5 cups water
- 3 and half cups of sugar
- four cups worth of apple mint leaves.
- Collect your leaves, wash, no stems, bruise them a bit to help release the mint flavour, and add them to a pot that has water and sugar on med heat, bring to a gentle simmer, turn down and simmer for five min, lets sit for another five, strain out the mint leaves.. bring back up to a boil for jarring up.
- Tip and tail your garlic scapes, wash them well in cool water, then drain and cut them into two to four-inch pieces, this really does need to be a big flexible as size and curl affects the cutting.
- Prep your jars, lids and your canning pot as per normal, when you remove the hot jar, put your three to five whole black pepper and two cloves per jar, one inch by one inch horse-radish, fill the jar with garlic scapes, fill to half an inch from top, then add the mint syrup to half an inch from the top, wipe your lip, lid and seal, into the hot water bath for ten min.
- Out and onto the towel, allow to sit for a full 24 before moving, can be used within a week but ideally let it cure for at least a month, these are sweet, with a bit of heat, crunchy and awesome! Makes Five pints.
The minted Scapes are outstanding with darker heavier meats, like lamb, or wild game.. It’s quite different but it’s very good.
#4 Roasted or Grilled Scapes
Take a big handful or two of cleaned tipped and tailed garlic scapes, a drizzle of oil, sea salt or seasoning salt and into an over at 375 for 12 to 15 min.
Do consider watching carefully and letting them get quite brown and crispy for snacking on them or allowing them to cool and then breaking them up for use as a crunchy bite in a salad.. this will take another five to eight min of cooking time!
Both the lovely green baked kind and the crunchy baked kind are delightful!
#5 Garlic Scapes Fresh Pesto or Creamy Pesto Sauce..
This one is your choice.. please consider at least once making a fresh garlic Scape Pesto.. Its delightful
- one cup of finely or coarsely chopped cleaned and prepped garlic scapes (I recommend not using the flower parts for this one)
- 1/4th of a cup of pine nuts
- Half a cup of Parm Cheese.
- 1 tbsp. of lemon juice
- half a cup of the best quality extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh ground salt and black cracked pepper
Blend it all together and go! YUM!
Now for a different taste, mix in a few tablespoons of cream cheese.. so good..
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