Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are a tender, edible flower stalk that grows from the tops of hardneck garlic; the scape emerges upward then bends over to form a coil.  The finished coil stage is the prime time to pick and eat the scape. Eventually, the scape will uncoil, straighten up, then become "woody."  Garlic growers usually pick the scapes to direct the plants' energy towards making larger bulbs.  Fresh, seasonal garlic scapes are available for a short time in the spring.  Raw garlic scapes are crunchy, similar to a green bean or asparagus, with a mild garlic taste with a bit of zest.  Cooking garlic scapes will mellow out the flavor.  Garlic scapes are so versatile to cook with; they are wonderful raw, chopped up in a salad or diced in a dressing or compound butter, add them to kick up salsas, dips, pestos, and chimichurri sauce, soups, stews, or stir-fries. Grill them to use as a savory side vegetable dish, sautee them to add to pasta dishes, or use as a pizza topping, great in scrambled eggs.  Fresh garlic scapes will store for three weeks in the refrigerator wrapped in a paper bag. Garlic scapes can be pickled or frozen to keep enjoying them year-round.