I had a 5 minute texting conversation with my mother-in-law about garlic scapes.
Me: Yo, do you want any garlic scapes?
Her: What are garlic scrapes?
Me: Garlic scapes are curly parts of garlic that you can eat. Notice my passive aggressive way of correcting her spelling? I do that with Troy too.
Her: Sure, I'll take some scrapes.
Me: It's scapes woman!
*Please note, we have a fantastic relationship! For reals, we do. I love my in-laws.
Tis the time of year for using up your garlic scapes, the curly and lovely portion of your garlic plants. You DID plant garlic last fall, right? Garlic is a no-brainer because you plant it in fall and basically ignore it until July or August. I love things that I can ignore that will still produce tasty homegrown food for my family. Not to mention keeping me safe from vampires.
If you didn't plant garlic this year, scapes are pretty widely available at most farmer's markets. Just bookmark this post, and plant your garlic in a few months, and then enjoy your scapes next summer. Removing the scapes is like removing suckers from tomato plants - it helps the plant focus on the production of the vegetable (tomatoes are fruit though. Is garlic even a vegetable?).
Remove your scapes right where they begin to curl. Wash, and dry and then get creative!
Garlic scape pesto (replace the basil with (duh) scapes) in this recipe for a garlicky addition to pasta, chicken, pizza, or use it as a dip with crackers. The thought of garlic scape pesto and brie makes me want to dance.
Freeze the cleaned scapes, and use later in the year for stir-fries, soups, or grilling.
Sautee the sliced scapes with butter, chives, parsley, and a touch of dill, then freeze in ice cube trays (and then remove to containers or Ziplocs once frozen) to use as flavored butters for dutch oven bread, baked potatoes, pasta, etc.
Cut the scapes like you would a green onion, and get creative. It's basically bonus garlic from your plant. It's like when you order french fries and you get one curly fry with all the other ones; it seems like you won the lottery!
PS, I almost never order fries at restaurants - when we do go to restaurants. But the awesomeness of bonus fries is universal.
I've shared this over at Seasonal Celebrations.