Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Great Garlic Scape

The summer solstice is right around the corner, which means the garlic in the garden is ready to give us a little preview. Here come the garlic scapes! For the next week, maybe two, each garlic plant will produce a single flower stalk, which begins as a tender, green shoot, and grows long and curly. If picked before the stalk gets tough, scapes are a delicacy, with a milder garlic taste than the bulbs. Gardeners need to clip the scapes off to keep energy going to the bulb anyway, so the dozens of dishes we can make with the scapes—pastas, salads, omelets, soups—is a huge bonus. And if you're not growing garlic in your garden (maybe you will now!) you can usually find scapes in farmers' markets seasonally.