Grilled garlic scapes add to a summer meal

I spotted garlic scapes at a farmers’ market, scooped some up and grilled them for a delicious summer side dish.

grilling-scapes-blogYesterday when I wrote about the garlic growing in my garden I mentioned the mature scapes on the hardneck varieties were telling me it was harvest time.

It was a happy coincidence that I happened to spot some tender young scapes at a vegetable stall at a farmers’ market later in the day.  Of course I had to buy them.

The scapes are the flower stalks that shoot up from the center of a garlic plant on varieties like Rocambole, Porcelain and Purple Stripes. Hardneck varieties like these are preferred by chefs for their rich aromatic flavor.

When scapes are cut before they mature, they have a fun curley-cue shape and they can be used in cooking like scallions: raw in salads, sauteed in stir frys or grilled for other recipes or eaten by themselves.

I decided to grill about 1/4 pound of the scapes as a simple side dish for dinner. Here’s how:

  1. Rinse scapes and trim off the tough ends.
  2. Place them in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil;  sprinkle with coarse salt.
  3. Preheat grill (either gas or charcoal).
  4. Place scapes on grill and separate them with tongs so they have room to cook.
  5. Grill over a hot flame or coals for 5 minutes or until they’re lightly browned on one side.
  6. Turn scapes over and cook until soft, about 5 more minutes.
  7. Remove from grill and serve.

grilled-scapes-blogGrilling gave the scapes a nice sweet flavor, similar to the taste of roasted garlic.

I did a little Googling and found many ways to use scapes besides grilling, including this recipe for garlic scape pesto that sounds delicious.

If you have a special way of preparing garlic scapes, please share them here!


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