Garlic scapes are the gorgeous twisty tops of garlic plants as they begin to mature in late spring. They need to be removed from the plant so they don’t take growing power away from the bulbs still developing underground. If you are growing garlic, don’t cut them until the top has twisted into a full circle, then cut about an inch above the top leaf.
They are so pretty that I actually stick them in vases and use as centerpieces when they are in season, but of course I pull them right out of their decorative function whenever I need garlic flavor, which is what garlic scapes give you.
You top and tail them to remove the crown and any woodiness at the bottom of the stem, slice and voila! fresh tasting garlic. When I have too many to use fresh, I dice and freeze them. They can be used like garlic when you saute and I especially like to toss them into winter soups for a bright flavor lift.
Experiment with whichever herbs you like. Basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley and thyme all complement the nuttiness of garbanzo beans. For a cannellini and scape dip, click here.
Garlic scape and chick pea dip
1.5 cups chick peas (or 2 15.5 oz cans chick peas, rinsed and drained)
2 garlic scapes, topped and tailed
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil (plus extra if desired/for garnish)
2 tbs plain yogurt
¼ cup lemon juice and zest of one lemon
1 tbs chopped parsley (plus extra for garnish)
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp salt (may not be necessary if using canned beans)
Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until reaching desired smoothness. You may add more olive oil if necessary or garnish with a drizzle of oil and sprinkle with parsley.
photo via creative commons