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A bounty of Garlic Scapes

 
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I'm now growing garlic for 4 families, including my own. This means that I'm now getting far more scapes than I used to. They keep fairly well in the fridge, but what I need are more recipes.

Yes, I'll make some pesto - in fact it was on my list for tonight, but dinner was late, and my son gets up very early for work, so I don't want to use noisy machinery, however, I think I'll try the recipe with the following ingredients:
2 cup garlic scapes
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tbsp fresh basil
1 tsp fresh oregano
1/2-1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 cup Parmesan cheese optional

However, I'm really hoping some of my fellow permies will have other creative ideas for using this resource.

 
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I usually leave my scapes on to form bulbils that I feed to my chickens and to grow more garlic but the ones that I pick to eat are simply stir fried or brushed with olive oil and grilled.

I lacto fermented a couple of jars which were delicious.

A Korean friend gave me a jar of scapes that had been pickled in a soya sauce brine that were really tasty too.  I have not tried to make any myself yet but she mentioned that scapes are also pickled like kimchee.
 
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I just toss them into anything that needs garlic: soups, stir fries, etc. if they overlap with the summer squash harvest, sauteeing them with the squash and a bit of salt is one of my favorites.
 
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I cook them like green beans. Braise them with a little olive oil and salt. Yummy and quick.
 
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I wash, chop, and freeze them in pint containers.  Then I just spoon out whatever I need when cooking.  This allows me to save more of my mature bulbs for planting (expanding my bed each year) and for selling at my farmers market.
 
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Right now I'm dehydrating them. I'm growing garlic for my market garden to sell and as of now I have about 2,000. That's quite a bit of scapes. I have done the pesto which is deliscious! But with so many I decided to cut them, put them in the food processor to chop them into small bits and throw them into the dehydrator for later use. Thinking about powdering some of them too.
 
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Like Lina I use them in any dish that would use garlic, usually this means chopped up and added as another vegetable in a stir fry sort of thing.  I love Julia's idea of dehydrating them.  I must try doing that and then powdering them.  I wonder if it will be a green garlic powder?
 
pollinator
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My favorite is picketed scapes. Use a dill recipe to pickle scapes and beans. Yummy!  Lacto fermentation is delicious too!
 
Mary-Ellen Zands
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Of course I meant pickled!
 
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I make a much simpler pesto, just olive oil and scapes, which I pack into jars and freeze.  I use it until it’s gone, any place that uses garlic.  Spread it on bread, toss pasta with it soups stews, egg dishes, salad dressings and so forth.

One of my most popular cheeses is fresh chèvre with garlic scape pesto and parsley and salt blended in.
 
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2nd year attempting to even grow them. Just grabbed a bag from walmart and stuck them in the ground.
Found out I had grown both soft necked and hard necked varieties, which has only yielded a modest 9 scapes of my 36 I pulled up.
You know your a newbie when you have no idea what a scape is when reading about them and find out only after growing and plucking off a few thinking WTH is this?
now I love them! We’ve thrown them on pizza, chopped them finely and mixed into melted butter, still have a few. This thread will be closely watched for a while :)
 
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Being a 'lazy' cook  fermenting is one of the easiest ways to preserve scapes.  I cut them smallish and ferment in salted brine. They can keep forever int he refrig.

I also chop some up into salads. Another easy peasy use for them.

Good chopped into eggs, too.   Anything that wants some garlic, scapes will suffice.

The only caveat is that the tougher parts seem to stay tough. So best to use when young or only the softer, more supple parts.
 
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Several families on the farm also batch process and freeze (and often sell) super-simple no-cheese pesto out of our scapes, but we use hemp hearts (a.k.a. "hemp nuts," i.e., hulled hemp seeds) instead of nuts. Cheaper and more nutritious overall.

(Fresh, fresh!) Hemp oil can also substitute for part or all of the olive oil. Full protein and Omega 3 FA FTW!

Wild and gardened greens often go in. I'd recommend the more delicate and lightly flavored ones but all kinds of variations have shown up at potlucks. Commonly spinach, kale, and hemp leaves (I would have steamed and cooled all of those before blending, but I generally enjoyed them).

Lemon sorrel is a treat. Oar pine (a.k.a. live-forever) also makes a succulent addition, especially young tips (steam briefly if they seem too bitter).

Wild leek leaves complement anything garlic, and there were so many this year we made early pesto long before the scapes had a hope. Bright bright green and so tasty! I was glad to unearth several jars from the deep freezer Saturday.

Omelets! And Pizza! For-r-rall my Friends!

~r
 
Thekla McDaniels
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When harvesting the garlic scapes, I snap them off. The tough part of the stem stays behind because if it is too tough, it won’t just snap off
 
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My scapes are for pesto, too. I mostly use that to make hand pies with pizza dough and fillings. We call them calzones but a purist wouldn't.

Here's a pesto variation with lemon (vegan):

1 c. chopped scapes
Zest of 1/3 large lemon (1.5 tsp?) and 1 tsp. juice
1/2 tsp. salt (scant)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 c. toasted pine nuts (sub walnut, almond etc.)
1/4 - 1/2 c. olive oil

Grind scapes first to a paste. Add lemon, seasoning, and nuts, then drizzle in oil while processing. Taste after 1/4 c. oil and add more to your preference.

Makes about 1c. pesto, for 1 lb. of pasta or pizza dough (7 hand pies, 10-15 min at 425 degrees with precooked fillings).
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You can make a sort of hummus-like dip with cannellini beans and olive oil and scapes. Or, if you already have the pesto, use that in place of the plain scapes. Does require a food processor but otherwise pretty effortless.
 
pollinator
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All of my garlic scapes get made into a compound butter. It's just garlic scapes pureed in a food processor add parmesan cheese, dill weed and butter. I use this mostly for garlic bread but adding it into pasta dishes is tasty as well. I made that about a month ago. Now my garlic is all ready to harvest, it's on the list for today.
 
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i chop pretty finely, mix with a bit of grated carrot, and lacto-ferment. that’s our standard ‘house relish’.

edited to add: i have about 3/4 of a gallon on the go right now.
 
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online to chop and dehydrate them to make garlic powder.
It tastes like the powder they put on sour cream potato chips.
 
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I like to dice and add to my batch of Kimchee. Gives it a great taste and texture.
 
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I grow walking onions and have PLENTY.  I pickle some of the scapes and roast with other veg in sheet pan dishes.
 
pollinator
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I sauteed some, with broccoli the other day, and I've been using them instead of garlic cloves in a fried spaghetti recipe from Adam Ragusea

Made it 2 times so far with scapes, have enough scapes for one more dish... They've 'been the best batches of this dish yet! I wish I had reserved a few more scapes.

We sold the bulk of them, 23 pounds of scapes, to a local restaurant (2nd year in a row...) so that's now money in the bank.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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greg mosser wrote:i chop pretty finely, mix with a bit of grated carrot, and lacto-ferment. that’s our standard ‘house relish’.

edited to add: i have about 3/4 of a gallon on the go right now.



I gotta remember this one!  If lacto- fermenting, would I add salt and whey, protect from airborn organisms?  Exclude or allow oxygen?
 
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I usually pick the scapes and wash them.  After this i simply lie them flat and spread olive oil on the scapes, and freeze them flat.  Once frozen I store them in parchment paper and zip lock bags. When we need them we simply pick a few and use them.  I still have some from last year's crop.
 
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Here's a Korean recipe. I happened to be making some Korean food today, and stumbled upon it!

Korean spicy garlic scapes dish
 
greg mosser
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:I gotta remember this one!  If lacto- fermenting, would I add salt and whey, protect from airborn organisms?  Exclude or allow oxygen?



yes to salt. i don’t use whey but if that’s your standard, then probably yes. i have it under weight and a cloth, but not airtight. i should probably also say that it’s hard to express much liquid from them, so i added something like a quart and a half of brine to make sure there’s plenty of juice at dividing-up time.
 
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I use them in my kimchi sometimes - very tasty! I wonder if they would go well just fermented on their own in a brine? Or just with plain cabbage for garlic kraut?
 
Thekla McDaniels
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The one time I didn’t add whey, I was making sauerkraut, being taught by experienced fermenters.  I really really really didn’t like the smell after fermentation, so ever since, I have used whey of some kind because of the live bacteria in it.  (I use the whey from chèvre and or feta which I make from my raw goats milk.

It may have nothing to do with the whey, but I haven’t had that — offensive to me — smell ever again.
 
steward
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Gred Gross wrote:I cook them like green beans. Braise them with a little olive oil and salt. Yummy and quick.



David Huang wrote:Like Lina I use them in any dish that would use garlic, usually this means chopped up and added as another vegetable in a stir fry sort of thing.



Ditto! I've been throwing them in soups and stir fries, etc. Since I have leeks, too, and they make scapes as well, I throw the leek scapes in anything that needs onion (soups, stir fries, eggs, taco meat, etc).
 
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Tonight was my first night cooking with them. I chopped them up and added them to elk vegetable stew. The family all wanted to know what I did differently (in a good way). The broth was so flavorful!

And the most exciting thing is that I did not get an upset stomach! Garlic cloves make my stomach hurt horribly so I was hoping garlic scapes would let me enjoy garlic without the pain. And it worked!!! You have no idea how excited I am about this! I stopped eating garlic about five years ago when every garlicky dish would end up with me in the bathroom for a few hours.

I'm glad to read the advice about freezing then to use throughout the year. My friends will get the garlic bulbs I'm growing but I'll have the scapes for myself in the freezer.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Jenny, I know someone else who can’t eat garlic bulb, but garlic scapes don’t bother her a bit.  You’re not alone
 
Jay Angler
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions!

Yesterday I made a version of the recipe I included in the first post. I say "version" because: 1) I have no fresh basil at this time of year, but I had dried some last year so I used it, and 2) the friend I'm most likely to share it with is allergic to all nuts , so I left those out. 3) I did use the Parmesan cheese it labelled an "option".

I'm trying the system of putting it in bags and squishing it flat. This thread was the second spot I heard about that option, so hopefully it will work as advertised!

That took care of a large chunk of the problem. I'm thinking I may just chop and freeze the rest to use in soups and stews as Jenny's example supports. I'm glad to hear it's supposed to be easier on the stomach, as that has been a concern for me.
 
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They are really nice roasted. Just toss in some olive oil, salt & pepper and roast at 425 for about 25 minutes or until they are as caramelized as you like. Of course, you can't beat them pickled either.
 
Mary-Ellen Zands
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I guess no one eats them raw like me!  I have no friends!  I love a paste made with some scapes and olive oil I use like butter on my GF bread and could eat like that or add a sliced tomato or some cheese, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Most of the time I’m eating them as I pick them!  I wish I could kill mosquitos with my breath!  Hasn’t worked yet!  
 
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Yesterday I sauteed in olive oil some scapes, onion, thinly sliced carrots and celery -- whatever fresh vegetable bits and pieces i had leftover from other recipes --, added a few fresh herbs and salt, and threw it over rotini pasta.  It was SO delicious!
 
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Jenny Wright wrote:... And the most exciting thing is that I did not get an upset stomach! Garlic cloves make my stomach hurt horribly so I was hoping garlic scapes would let me enjoy garlic without the pain. And it worked!!! You have no idea how excited I am about this! I stopped eating garlic about five years ago when every garlicky dish would end up with me in the bathroom for a few hours.  



Maybe you have FODMAPS sensitivity?
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These are short-chain starches (sugars) that cause some people digestive distress.
 
Jenny Wright
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Jeanne Wallace wrote:

Jenny Wright wrote:... And the most exciting thing is that I did not get an upset stomach! Garlic cloves make my stomach hurt horribly so I was hoping garlic scapes would let me enjoy garlic without the pain. And it worked!!! You have no idea how excited I am about this! I stopped eating garlic about five years ago when every garlicky dish would end up with me in the bathroom for a few hours.  



Maybe you have FODMAPS sensitivity?
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These are short-chain starches (sugars) that cause some people digestive distress.


I am 99% sure I have fructose malabsorption though I haven't done the testing to confirm it. Garlic, especially if it's concentrated like in a powder, just sets me over the limit of fructose my body can absorb.

Some things in FODMAP fit what I can't eat but there are a lot of things I can. On top of that I have a body that likes to continually develop new allergic reactions to food (which is probably mast cell activation syndrome). So it's a fun evolving puzzle that I get to work on. Thus my great excitement when I get to eat something new that doesn't hurt! 😊
 
Jeanne Wallace
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Jenny Wright wrote: ... On top of that I have a body that likes to continually develop new allergic reactions to food (which is probably mast cell activation syndrome). So it's a fun evolving puzzle that I get to work on. Thus my great excitement when I get to eat something new that doesn't hurt! 😊



The dreaded MCAS! So you're probably eating a low histamine diet and aware of how molds can exacerbate things. Practitioner Beth O'Hara has some fantastic videos on this topic and her webiste is a good resource too. https://mastcell360.com/

Good luck on your food journey! I hope you find many more tolerable and yummy things like garlic scapes!
 
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