Garlic Scapes

Have you tried them yet?
These long unnoticed early harvests from your hardneck garlic are tasty and people are starting to catch on! To harvest, cut the long curling tendrils a few weeks before garlic bulbs are ready. Depending on how hot and sunny your garden is most scapes are ready for harvest in Victoria, BC right now in mid-June. Although they look prettier don’t let them curl too much or they won’t be as tender. One post I read said that harvesting the scapes before they bloom will also help you get a bigger garlic bulb. Pictured above are the scapes harvested by our Pacific Horticulture College students in their Vegetable Growing class.
Now what? A quick Google or Pinterest search for garlic scape recipes will give you a ton of great ideas – from pesto, hummus, pickled scapes, pizza sauce and more you will find something that satisfies your palate. They are showing up on the menu at Charlotte and the Quail (so you know they’ll be great!). 20160530_172538-1_resized
The staff in the Gardens at HCP prefer a simple method of cooking them up. Simply chop scapes into bite size pieces and sauté them in butter, add a few herbs and you’re done. Don’t overcook them though as the scapes will become chewy and flavourless. All you have to do is let them get a bit tender to bring out the garlic flavour. To inspire you: here is my dinner a week ago – after my scapes started to soften in the pan I added some mushrooms and thyme to the sauté and they came out perfectly! Great flavour combination and a simple addition to some organic chicken and yorkshire puddings!
Do you have a favourite recipe or idea from your garden? Please share it with us!