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Does anyone have ideas for using garlic scapes? These are the green shoots that are the above-ground part of bulb garlic. Think of something a bit like a scallion in appearance, but thinner, firmer and curly. They are in season right now (July), and we have been getting some in our CSA box every week for the last few weeks.

The most common use for them appears to be in pesto. I tried that the first time we got some, but the result was just too strong for me, and I am a real garlic lover. (My six-year-old daughter adores classic basil pesto, but she thought the scape pesto was awful.) They are milder and much "greener" in flavor than bulb garlic, but they still have a pretty strong kick when raw.

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8 Answers 8

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Personally, I just throw them into stir fries or fried rice (add them near the end of the cooking time). I've also had them slightly stir fried with pea shoots in sesame oil. Simple but delicious.

Tofu666, an amazing vegan blogger, fries them often. Here's a sample: http://veganmenu.blogspot.com/2007/06/seitan-and-lentil-stew-fritto-misto.html

This page has instructions for pickling them: http://notwithoutsalt.com/2009/06/18/garlic-scapes/

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Another saute aplication: blanch them, then dice them into roughly half-inch to inch-long pieces and saute them in the bacon/pancetta fat for a pasta carbonara (or an 'eggless' version, just pasta tossed with crispy bacon and something green), letting them take the place of the traditional peas — the garlicky flavor there plays perfectly off the bacon and parmesan, and the texture (to me, at least) is a lot like an asparagus, a bit of bite but different than the crispness of the meat.

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I realize this is a very old thread, but having recently gotten into garlic scapes, I am shocked that no one mentioned grilling. I love them, brushed with a little oil and seasoned, straight on the grill. Taste amazing when they have those little browned charred parts on them too.

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I've been using them in salads where I would use green spring onions - just not using as many. Also I've got a "CSA soup" I've been making lately that involves bok choy, beet tops, and kale - I saute the stems with carrots before adding them to the soup and I've put a scape or two, sliced like green onion tops, into that saute to great effect. Since I got 10 last week I pretty much have to use 1 or 2 each meal :-)

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I use the green tops of garlic when I want a rounder smoother garlic taste for my dish. Often I'll chop them to make garlic butter for garlic bread. I'll also add them to chreem cheese for a spread or to sour cream for a garlic dip. You can chop them on top of toasted cheese to give an extra flavour. The also work well in most dishes that already contain garlic, so add them to pizza, pasta sauce, stir fries or anything else that you like.

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I made a really nice summer spread with yoghurt, some chopped garlic scape, lemon, and pepper. We put it on pita and it disappeared very quickly.

I also made a pretty good chicken marinade with tomato, lemon, ginger, garlic scapes, a little oil, and some pepper. When you cook the scapes, they become softer and the flavour mellows out.

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Great sauteed together with some earthy greens (e.g. kale)! Then make a delicious pizza with it maybe add some feta cheese!

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Use them in an omelette with goat cheese. Yum.

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