Last fall Maid Elizabeth brought home 3 pounds of garlic bulbs from a local farmers market. I planted what I could and canned what was left. The garlic flourished over our mild winter and has taken off in our warmer-than-usual spring. As I was weeding the garlic bed last week, I noticed that the scapes were getting large and begging to be harvested. Oh joy!
Garlic scapes are the flower stem of the garlic plant. It is necessary to cut scapes off the plant in early to middle June in order to encourage bulb growth rather than flower growth. Scapes really are the first harvest of the wonderful garlic plant. They can be used fresh or preserved for future use and are incredibly versatile.
Scapes should be harvested while very young if you are planning on eating them fresh. Before they start to curl they are incredibly tender and can be eaten raw, right off the plant. When they are larger, with a bigger flower "bulb" and have curled, they can be eaten like green beans, with a crunchy texture and decidedly garlicky flavor. They are wonderful sautéed with peppers and onions and can even be pickled.
|Master Calvin cutting the last scape!|
|Always use good olive oil!|
|The olive oil completely covers the scapes|
|Ready for use!|