How to Harvest Garlic Scapes

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3655556523_455b9a497b_zIf you have a 4×4 foot bed handy, you might be tempted to plant some garlic for the first time, whether it is in the spring or autumn. You can start off with one softneck and hardneck variety and plant them in one of your 4×4 foot beds (after all the veggies grown there are finished first).

And chances are you’ll take on this garlic-growing not knowing what the heck you’re doing other than trying to be cool by growing your own garlic!

Over at one of the garden blogs, Skippy’s Vegetable Garden, Kathy had harvested garlic scapes, then used them on her delish looking grilled pizza. Have to get inspired somewhere!

Harvesting:

Before it is time to harvest the garlic, the plant sends up a single thick round shoot from the center and the end is a bulging area that will eventually burst open with a flower. In order to encourage the garlic bulbs to grow larger, the garlic scape should be cut off so that the energy can be spent on the bulb, not the flower. So, that’s what I did.

One article I read suggested cutting the garlic in the heat of the afternoon to decrease the drippage from the garlic scapes, but you might find the garlic scape juice running down your hand. I also read that you should harvest the garlic scapes before they curl. You’ll want to know this before yours start to curl, otherwise you’ll miss that chance. You’ll see that the less they curl, the more tender they are.

Preparing:

You can cut off the bulging part at the top of the garlic scape leaving just the green stem, then cut the stems into 1/2 inch pieces. The smell of these things are heavenly. It’s like a cross between a really strong garlic smell and a green onion.

Cooking:

Sauté the chopped garlic scapes with some spinach and local portabello mushrooms, chopped and marinated. You can also make garlic scape pesto, which you can try after harvesting garlic scapes from the softneck variety you have growing.

If you have a great way to use garlic scapes, please share your recipe with us. I’m excited about this newly discovered food that I’m curious to see what all can be done with it.

Featured image under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license

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