Sunday, June 19, 2011

scape artist

Over the past few year, garlic scapes have become the darling of affluent foodies, culinary hipsters and gourmands. The gently curving scapes –- aka "stems" – are removed from the burgeoning garlic plants so that all the growing energy can divert to the bulbs. The early summer appearance of these undulating celadon bundles is fleeting, so they sell for ridiculous prices at farmers markets and gourmet shops. I always chuckle at the high prices, because, when you think about it, the idea of eating garlic scapes [or eating any plant in its entirety, from top to bulb] really embodies the essence of frugality and resourcefulness.

Since I'm too frugal, to pay $6 a pound for garlic scapes, you can imagine how thrilled I was to find an undulating rope of them in this week's CSA share. Garlic scapes taste like a kinder, gentler version of garlic. And as a special added bonus, when you cook or roast garlic scapes, their flavor mellows even more. Use them just as you would use scallions or asparagus. Try them as a base for pesto or to flavor soup or risotto. Here are two easy garlic scape recipes to get you started.

Garlic Scapes Roasted with Chickpeas and Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • 1 cup garlic scapes, cut into 1-inch pieces [about 7-8 scapes]
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • 12 basil leaves, finely chopped
Makes 4 servings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place everything except the basil in a shallow roasting pan, and toss to coat everything with the oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until scapes are soft. Serve as is, as a side, or over a whole grain.

Garlic Scape Bean Dip [Inspired by Amanda Hesser's recipe]
  • 6 garlic scapes, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chives, basil, parsley or cilantro
  • 1 15-oz can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Whiz everything in the food processor until smooth-ish [If you are using chives, it will only get so smooth!]. Serve with crudities, crackers or crisp breads or in a wrap.


JL goes Vegan said...

I can't lie. I had never heard of a garlic scape until last summer when I saw them at the farmer's market. And subsequently ready about them on numerous food blogs. I bought some :) I mostly used them in tomato sauce for personal (vegan) pizzas. And loved them. Hope to see them in the next few weeks at the farmer's market!

Love the bean dip recipe. Will have to try that, too!

Millie said...

it sure looks good and I bet it tasted great.

Vegan Georgia said...

I was first introduced to garlic scapes in a CSA share as well. I ended up using mine in a frittata, and they were great!

Cadryskitchen said...

I'm new to the love for garlic scapes too. They are plentiful at my local farmers market and cheap too for only a dollar a bunch!

foodfeud said...

Great title! I'll have to check my farmer's market for scapes - I've never had any but that bean dip looks great.

Dale Calder said...

I love them steamed like beans. It's too early for sacpes here but there will be lots in a few weeks I have a large garlic bed in my garden.

Catherine said...

Scapes were running $2 a bunch at my Farmer's Market this weekend, so I picked some up, too! I made some pesto last night, and will have to try your bean dip next.

jn said...

Very timely... my neighbor just gave me a bunch of garlic from her garden and as I was cutting the tops off, I thought, "Hey, this part is probably edible." Now I have 4 jars of frozen garlic scapes that I didn't really know what to do with (besides stir-fries!)

vko said...

yum yum yum,still haven't tried garlic scapes- will be less intimidated now.... it's been too long since I've visited- the blog looks super FAB!

Jessica Porter said...

Dear Dynise,

I love your site! I'm wondering if I can reach you in person... My name is Jessica Porter and I'm writing a new cookbook that's coming out next spring. I'm wondering if you would be interested in contributing your wonton filling ideas to it... they look amazing.
You can reach me through the contact link at
take care.

urban vegan said...

Jessica: e me at :)

AikoVenus said...

They look so beautiful and that bean dip looks mighty tasty as well. ^^

emily said...

Someone gave me a few at Farmer's Market--I had thought about simply using them like garlic, but both of these recipes look amazing. Thanks for posting!

urban vegan said...

You guys have found some frugal scapes. Good on ya'!

jcmakara said...

Our farmer's market had them for $1 a bunch so I guess I scored a deal! Used them to make pesto, oddly enough.

cockles said...

What an interesting idea. I cooked garlic scapes a lot though in Singapore, we call them leek flowers. I usually put them in soup, or stir fry with other veggies and sometimes, I chopped them very finely and used them as toppings on cold siken tofu dish. I'm definitely gonna try your recipe soon! it looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing. les

Mattheworbit said...

We got a bunch of these really cheap at an asian grocer, sold as "garlic shoots". I'm gonna try the dip version, thanks for the recipe!