I am a little late posting this seeing that we are now past its season, but I wanted to share with you garlic scapes. I noticed these long, curly greens a month ago while roaming the farmers’ market. Intrigued, I picked one up and brought it home to see what it had to offer.
I learned that garlic scapes are the part of garlic that grows above ground (because of course the garlic cloves that you are used to are bulbs in the dirt). Anyway, when garlic first sprouts, it creates these scapes. With time the scapes grow strait and toughen so you must cut them within two weeks of growth while they are still tender, hence why their season is a bit short. They grow in the late spring/early summer.
The flavor of scapes is obviously of garlic but they are not as pungent. Although in the States farmers only recently have been utilizing the scapes in lieu of throwing them out, they have been popular in Europe and Asia. You can use them in place of garlic or green onions in your recipes. For my garlic scape I chopped it up, sautéed it with some butter and olive oil, threw in some pasta water and tossed with pasta and chopped parsley. I loved the nice, subtle garlic flavor.
Enjoy (well, next Spring)!