Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Great Scapes

The scapes are in the bottom of the picture
Day 130
The Daily DuBrule

It's garlic scape time! My garlic plants are trying to flower and I am not going to let them. Instead, I am going to cut off the curly flower buds (scapes) and eat them. Yum! 

I didn't know about garlic scapes the first year I planted hard neck garlic. It's kind of a backwards crop. You plant the garlic cloves in the fall, they emerge in the spring. By June, the plants are gigantic. The scapes appear right around Memorial Day. The first time this happened, I was curious as I love all Alliums. I wanted to see what they looked like. It turns out the round,pale lavender flowers are a big fat nothing. My experiment took a lot of energy from the developing garlic bulbs and they were small and disappointing. 

I began studying how to grow garlic after that. It turns out the scapes are a delicacy, a whole entire crop unto themselves. I saw them for sale at
Whole Foods for an insane amount of money per pound! Considering I plant about 150 heads of garlic a year, I had plenty of scapes to eat and share. They are delicious in stir fries, or chopped up in any kind of dish. You can make garlic scape pesto which is so delicious. You can brush them with olive oil and grill them. 

Now, when late May rolls around, I instinctively look for my garlic scapes to appear. I bring them into work and share the bounty and they become a part of my meals for many weeks. In July, I dig the garlic and dry it. Two harvests from simple cloves of hard neck garlic. A very easy and very efficient crop indeed.

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