Updated: Jan 31
The budding stems of the garlic plants, a late spring favourite to flavour seasonal dishes!
It’s late spring, edible flower buds like artichokes and garlic scapes are shooting and I’m loving this garden cooking season! Yes, garlic scapes are the flower buds of hard neck garlic plants. They are better harvested before flowering so the plant concentrates its energies for clove growth. While the garlic cloves are not ready to be harvested until the plants leaves die off in early summer, the scape can substitute traditional garlic in most recipes. Chop the stems and you can smell that garlic already! I love their shapes and taste and also the fact that I am able to extend the use my homegrown garlic all year long by freezing some cloves. With 30 garlic plants, I manage quite well as I always finish my frozen cloves as the scapes come up. I pick them as needed and by the time I’ve used them all, I am ready to start harvesting the cloves.
Cooking with garlic scapes • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio 2020-21
GROWING & COOKING TIPS
I love growing my own garlic for many reasons. It is a must have ingredient all year long for flavouring so many recipes. It is good for boosting the immune system and it is much better and healthier when organically cultivated (more about homegrown garlic here). The garlic scape is something I only discovered when I started to grow my own garlic. They can be found at farmers markets, and I also noticed them at Local at Learmont's the other day. I use them in marinades, and this Tasty Grilled Chicken recipe is a favourite seasonal dish I always love to do with my homemade preserved lemons. They can be chopped in a pesto, topped on bread with parmesan cheese, added on roasted artichokes, and frozen in ice cubes. If you grow your own garlic, you are on the right track for some delicious and healthy garden cooking!
Check out related posts, recipes and inspirations: