10+ Ways to Use Garlic Scapes

Over 10 Garlic Scape Recipes Curated by Grow a Good Life. The garlic scape is edible and has a lovely, mild garlic flavor with a hint of sweetness. The scape is most tender, with almost an asparagus-like texture when it is curling.
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Garlic scapes, also sometimes called garlic stems, stalks, shoots or spears, are the flower stalks that hardneck garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature.

About three weeks before the garlic bulb is ready for harvesting, it sends up a flower stalk. The stalk grows upwards for several inches then will curl once or twice before continuing to grow upward. Removing this stalk, or garlic scape allows the plant to devote its energy into growing a larger bulb of garlic.

The garlic scape is edible and has a lovely, mild garlic flavor with a hint of sweetness. The scape is most tender, with almost an asparagus-like texture when it is curling. Here are 10+ Garlic Scape Recipes.

The garlic scape is edible and has a lovely, mild garlic flavor with a hint of sweetness. The scape is most tender, with almost an asparagus-like texture when it is curling. It left on too long, it becomes more firm and woody. I harvest mine all at once at the curly state by cutting the scape at the bottom where it meets the last leaf of the plant.

Garlic scapes are a much anticipated and enjoyed harvest that usually occurs mid-June in my area. This is commonly the time we are in a garlic rut. Usually the stored garlic from last year has dwindled and I try to resist the garlic growing in the garden to allow it to reach its full potential. Garlic scapes fill in that gap and can be used as a replacement for garlic in most recipes.

I usually reserve half of the garlic scape harvest to enjoy fresh. They last a long time in the refrigerator. I use the scapes in stir fry, sautéed in olive oil and used as a pizza topping, or grilled as a side dish. Roasting particularly brings out the sweetness of garlic flavor.

Preserving Garlic Scapes to Enjoy All Year

The rest of the garlic scape harvest is preserved to benefit from later. The first method I use to preserve the mild flavor of garlic scapes is to make and freeze as pesto. Once thawed, the pesto can be used as a dip, pizza topping, or as a pasta sauce.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients:
1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9), top flower part removed, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Method:
Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until mixed. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Mix in parmesan cheese by hand. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Pesto will keep for up to one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator or place in zipper bags and freeze.

Chop and Freeze

Another method I use to savor the mild garlic scape flavor, is to chop them into 1-inch pieces and freeze in zipper freezer bags. This makes it easy to grab a handful of garlic scapes and add them to soups, stews, stir fry, or anywhere else that you would use garlic. The garlic scapes hold up really well to freezing and remain firm.

Wondering what to do with garlic scapes? Try some of these recipes shared by fellow bloggers:

Need even more ideas? Farm Fresh Feasts has a roundup of Garlic Scape recipes:
28 Recipes Using Garlic Scapes (Recipe Round Up) by Farm Fresh Feasts

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27 thoughts on “10+ Ways to Use Garlic Scapes

  1. sherriewfal

    Garlic scapes are seriously my FAVE!! Thanks for featuring my Grilled Garlic Scapes with Sea Salt 🙂

    Reply
    1. Rachel Post author

      Sherrie, I can’t wait to enjoy grilled garlic scapes this year. Grilling and roasting seems to bring out their sweetness. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

      Reply
  2. Margaret

    Lots of great suggestions for using scapes, Rachel! That chicken garlic scape soup sounds really good. Last year I was harvesting scapes in the last week of June. I’m hoping that this year’s cold start will not delay them too much.

    Reply
    1. Rachel Post author

      Margaret, mine are just beginning to emerge. They seem to be on time even with the long winter. I hope you see yours soon.

      Reply
  3. daphnegould

    I harvested most of my scapes the other day. I’ve yet to make pesto with my scapes. I think I might try it. Though I don’t have pine nuts so will probably have to sub some other nut.

    Reply
    1. Rachel Post author

      Daphne, I make it sometimes without nuts. Depends on what I happen to have around. My scapes are just beginning to shoot up. Hopefully some will be ready to harvest soon.

      Reply
    1. Rachel Post author

      Megan, I hope you mother finds at least one garlic scape pesto she likes:) Pesto is so easy and so delicious that it is usually how I use most of my garlic scape harvest. There are several recipes in the list that I want to try this year. Luckily, I planted extra garlic. several recipes

      Reply
    1. Rachel Post author

      Kirsten, Thank you again for sharing your recipes for this garlic scape round up! My garlic scapes should be ready for harvest soon. I am looking forward to trying your Garlic Scape Pistachio Pesto Hummus 🙂

      Reply
  4. mac

    Nice garlic scapes you have there, unfortunately garlic don’t store well in our region so I stop growing it, no garlic scapes for me this year.

    Reply
  5. Traci

    We have found that chopping the scapes into shorter pieces, like 1/4″ and then giving them a 20-30 sec blanch and then freezing them in a single layer helps them store better in the freezer. After they are frozen, I put them into some large freezer bags and grab a handful to throw into eggs, soup, etc.

    Reply
  6. mylifecookbook

    I just had ramps for the first time and loved them! I can’t wait to taste garlic scapes. My problem may be where I can find them. My brother in law foraged the ramps for me …maybe he has some garlic scapes too! I(found you on Marvelous Mondays)

    Reply
  7. ktlynn03

    I love garlic and this will come in handy!
    Thanks for sharing on the Wake Up Wednesday link party!
    Hope to see you next week!
    Kate | The Organized Dream

    Reply
  8. 'Becca @ The Earthling's Handbook

    I had never heard of garlic scapes until we started getting a CSA farm share. Our farm gives us scapes early in the season and bulbs of garlic later on. We really like the flavor. Freezing them just raw and diced has worked for us, too–be sure to squeeze all the air out of the bag to reduce ice crystals on the food.

    Reply
  9. Gaye @CalmHealthySexyg

    Thanks for the information, Rachel. This is only my second year to grow garlic, and last year I didn’t really know what the scapes were or what to do with them. This year I will be prepared! Pinning to the Let’s Get Real group board.

    Reply
  10. organic4greenlivings

    Hi Rachel,
    Great post! Garlic is such a wonderful healing herb and I love the garlic scrap Pesto and all your wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted. Have a healthy happy blessed Memorial Day weekend!

    Reply
  11. organic4greenlivings

    HI Rachel,
    Just a note to let you know that I have chosen your article as one of my features for this weeks Real Food Fridays blog hop that goes live tonight @ 7pm EST. Thank you for being part of Real Food Fridays and have a healthy happy blessed week!
    Marla

    Reply
  12. FeathersInTheWoods (@la_murano)

    Great post! I just love garlic scapes….too bad I didn’t get to put garlic in this year. I have to wait a whole year now…no fair!

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope to see you back again this week!

    Lisa

    Reply
  13. Wes Wilson

    I learn so much from your blog posts. Thank you! I’m going to go check on my garlic right now to see if I can harvest some of these scapes for my own enjoyment. I had no idea!

    Reply

Thank you so much for your comments. I love hearing from you!