Garlic Scapes – that early summer treat

Have you run out of your garlic? Or it’s that time of year where the new garlic hasn’t matured yet and last seasons garlic is long gone, consider garlic scapes.

Garlic scapes, the flowering part of the garlic plant, becomes a lifesaver in the kitchen. It has a pungent garlic flavour that is amazing.

Check your garlic regularly, and when the flower-end forms a double circle, it is ready to harvest. To remove the garlic scape from the garlic plant, cut the flower stem close to the plant as possible. Some believe removing the garlic scape allows the garlic plant to pour energy into the developing bulb, and the result is a more abundant garlic harvest.

The stem will become woody if it is left on the plant too long. It is easy to break this woody part off if this is necessary, very similar to snapping the woody end of asparagus.

To cook with garlic scapes, snip or cut the stem into one-inch chunks and saute in olive oil as you would with garlic and proceed with your recipe. When cooked in an Instant pot recipe, the garlic scape disappears. If you like garlic in your recipes, garlic scapes add a flavour that defies description.

There are many uses for garlic scapes, for example, use them in soups, stews and all of your favourite recipes. It can also be made into a pesto and use as a sandwich spread, a pizza sauce, a noodle sauce, or eggs benny base.

Garlic pesto

1/2 pound garlic scapes cut into one-inch pieces.

Place them into a blender and pulse blend to break them up


1/8 c olive oil

2 T Parmesan cheese

2 T Almond or Walnuts, sliced

Blend to a thick paste

Store in a pint jar with a thin covering of olive oil.

Garlic scapes will keep in your fridge for up to two weeks. Garlic scapes can be cut into one-inch pieces and frozen for use later.

Here are some excellent variations: pickled scapes, grilled scapes with kale and other braised greens or sliced scapes as a pizza topping.

Garlic scapes may provide many health benefits: a good source of Vitamin A and C and fibre, and they are high in antioxidants.

Growing Garlic in Your Garden -Suggestions

When planting your garlic in the fall, try to break up the cloves, maintaining as much paper as possible. Create a small hole in the ground and plant the clove about two inches deep with the root side down and spaced four to six inches apart. Then mulch with a layer of chopped leaves, at least two inches thick. The garlic should start to grow in the fall -to be sure to establish a secure root system before freeze up. In the spring, lightly disturb the leaves occasionally to allow the plant to get a good start. Garlic does well with a spring fertilizing. Some wood ash and compost tea or comfrey tea will help establish a vigorous plant. Regular weeding and watering are required. Do not allow the plants to dry out.