When you plant hardneck garlic they will develop what is called a scape (flower stalk).
This is a thick curly stalk in the center of the leaves. You’ll recognize the scape by its tubular shape and distinctive curl. This scape is delicious and one of the first big harvests from our garden.
Removal of the scape motivates the garlic plant to put energy into growing the bulb instead of the flower, thus improving the size of your harvested bulbs. You can easily identify the scape, it will be a centre stem with a pointed tip and will develop a curl.
Just slide your fingers down the stem of the scape until it meets the plant and snip it off.
There are times you might want to leave to scapes on. If you are interested in learning more this post Hardneck Garlic: Scapes, Bulbils & Umbels will give you the scoop! If you are new to growing garlic How to Plant, Grow, Cure & Store Garlicmight also interest you.
Garlic scapes are delicious – spread the word!
We are growing quite a bit of garlic in our efforts to build up our seed stock so that we can start selling garlic as a cash crop. We would like to be able to sell garlic, scapes and all kinds of wonderful healthy creations using garlic. The tricky part is that most people don’t even know about scapes so we need to work on helping people realize how tasty and versatile they are!
Using & Preserving Garlic Scapes
There are many ways to preserve and use garlic scapes! You can refrigerate them for a few weeks, or store in the freezer in bags. Garlic scapes both fresh and preserved are an excellent way to season soups, biscuits and in just about any savoury recipe that you want a hint of garlic added to.
It always amazes me when we bring in a huge basket of food and the end product reduces down to a mere three jars of food on the shelf.
Lacto-fermented Garlic Scapes
I followed the following recipe: Fermenting Basics: Step by Step Vlog for Lacto-fermenting Carrots.
I curled the scapes into a jar, added some spices and poured in the salty brine. The top portion of the scape (the flower) will be soft compared to the stem so I decided to ferment those in a separate jar. The flowers needed to be weighed down to keep them beneath the brine and and the scapes did not. When creating lacto fermented products in mason jars I use pickle pipes. They are a super simple one-piece waterless airlock that allows gas to escape as necessary without letting any contaminants back flow into the jar.
Just look at how gorgeous garlic scapes look in a jar!
Dehydrated Garlic Scapes
Chop the scapes into pieces and spread out on your dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate until crisp. It took 12 hours @130 degrees for mine to dehydrate. You can pulse or grind them into a fine powder or leave them as they are. We’ve left our and will grind the dehydrated garlic scapes as we use it because I do my grinding by hand and didn’t feel inspired to grind them today! 🙂
Dehydrated scapes. These can be crushed up or turned into a powder.
Garlic Scapes Infused in Vinegar
Garlic infused vinegar is an easy way to use scapes. Simply drop the scapes in a bottle of vinegar and wait a few months for the flavours to infuse! Here’s a post The Simple Art of Making Vinegars At Home (Recipes Included) with recipes for making your own vinegar from scratch, making infused vinegars and more!
Lovely garlic scape pesto
This recipe for pesto seems like a perfect way to use garlic scapes. Find the recipe here: Making Garlic Scape Pesto.
Picked Garlic Scapes
Picking garlic scapes is really easy! They are tasty chopped up in wraps, potato salad and all kinds of other summer dishes …or just munch on them. To make them just follow our recipe for dilly beans – it’s exactly the same process.