Valley Bounty: Garlic Scapes

I have a group of friends with whom garlic scapes seemed to have attained a reverence bordering on the mythic. During the season when garlic scapes are readily available, any meal we eat together will invariably feature a hearty helping of them, accompanied by a discussion about how great and incredible and even-better-than-last-year they are. Sure, this scape-mania is a little hyperbolic, but based on the last potluck we had I can’t imagine it quieting down any time soon.

The curly stalks of hardneck garlic bulbs, scapes are only available for a limited time in the early summer. Especially young and tender scapes lend themselves well to being eaten raw in salads, or sautéed slightly and added to eggs or stir-fry. Older scapes, which are harder and more fibrous, can be brushed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and grilled until they are just turning black in spots for a pretty incomparable side dish for just about any grilled protein. You can also throw garlic scapes in the food processor with parmesan, olive oil, pepper, and a bit of lemon juice for a slightly more potent take on pesto.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)