What are those Wild, Green, Curly Things? The Mystery of Greenbelt Garlic Scapes

Jul 16, 2015

The first time I saw a garlic scape, I wondered what this wild, green, curly stalk was. I’m still intrigued by its shape, but now it’s usually because they always seem to get all tangled up in my fridge! If you are still wrapped up in this mystery, the garlic scape is the flower part, which grows out of the garlic that you know and love. I’ve been told that cutting off the flower allows for the plant’s energy to go into the bulb, making for bigger and better garlic. I think our chilly summer has meant that the garlic scapes have stuck around a bit longer this year, so if you want to get your hands on some, you should get to the market soon!

The scape is a bit milder than a garlic clove and is perfect for chopping into salads, stir fries, soups, salad dressing, or most places you would use garlic. I like to just put some into the blender with oil and spread it on bread (make sure you have some breath mints on hand!), but here’s a fancier version of that recipe.

Garlic Scape Pesto

8-9 Garlic Scapes, chopped
¾ Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup of Walnuts or Pine Nuts (I roast them, but you don’t have to)
1 Good Squeeze of Lemon Juice
½ Cup of Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in blender or food processor until you have a smooth, bright green paste. Garlic pesto is great on pasta, sandwiches or anywhere else you would use pesto.

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