Scapes: The Best Vegetable You’ve Never Heard Of

When you go to that fancy-schmancy, stack-and-drizzle restaurant, you probably see ingredients on the menu that you don’t recognize, such as garlic scapes. Let me introduce you to The Amazing Scape.

A scape is a shoot that grows on a garlic stalk. If left, it would flower. Most farmers remove them so the energy of the plant goes into growing the garlic bulb, not a flower on the stalk. In Minnesota, scapes generally appear in early to mid July, so you will see them in some grocery stores and on menus in the month of July. They only grow once, so when they are gone, they are gone until next year!

A scape looks like a curly string bean and tastes like mild garlic. The scapes are crunchy when raw and softer when cooked. I’m obsessed with them because they are soooo delicious and soooo easy to use! I also adore them because they are unusual and because they are only available for a short time.

Ready to try scapes? To use scapes, wash them, then cut the stringy end of the tip off. You can chop them up like green beans or like small coins. Here are some easy recipes:

  1. Chop and lightly saute them in olive oil and salt, then scramble them with eggs.
  2. Grind them up in your food processor and use it as a compote on a piece of grilled chicken or steak.
  3. Steam them in a double boiler with green beans until tender. Add butter and salt.
  4. Grind them in a food processor with equal parts basil and toasted pine nuts for a quick pesto.

For more recipes, check out Bon Apetit, Serious Eats, and the 60 Second Chef.

If you want some scapes, contact one of the Sisters or email us! We have plenty, and you have some new recipes to try!

Author: Joan Vaughn

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