“What on Earth are those weird pig tail shaped green things?” you might very well be asking this week. Those pig tails are garlic scapes, the stalks of undeveloped flowers that are emerging from each growing garlic bulb.
Why take them off the garlic? For one, they are delicious, plus once those flower stalks are gone, the garlic plants can put more nutrients and energy into growing delicious fat bulbs for later in the year! In the culinary world scapes are wonderfully versatile, as they can be used as milder version of their garlic parents or a vegetable in their own right.
So, what to do with garlic scapes? A quick check online will yield a bounty of scape pesto recipes but, let’s be real, we want more options! That being said, making pesto is a good place to begin, as is swapping scapes in for regular garlic in hummus recipes.
Grilling, which imparts a nice char and brings out the scapes sweeter side, is a good option. Try tying them into knots before putting them over coals to make them easier to handle with tongs.
A simple, impressive option is to quickly sauté the scapes and pair with an easy bechamel sauce, fancy speak for a cream sauce made even better by adding cheese. We did this last week with asparagus; scapes in place would have been fantastic! For a really interesting dish, give this garlic scape soup a whirl.
So don’t be intimidated by this week’s weird vegetable. Dish it up and enjoy!