Scapes are the curly stalks and flower buds that form on the garlic plant in the month of June. As a food, they offer a sneak preview of the rich flavor to be found in the garlic bulbs when we dig them up in another month or two. Scapes are delicious when sliced and sauteed, grilled, or even eaten raw. If you visit our garlic plants growing in the garden at Nyack Center, here are a few essentials that you need to know about harvesting them.
Why and How To Harvest Garlic Scapes
When we cut the scape, the garlic plant redirects all of its energy to nourishing the garlic bulb, which we plan to harvest in July. So, by harvesting the scapes, we give ourselves tasty snacks now, and we ensure a healthier and more robust garlic bulb to harvest when it's time.
Identify the scape by finding a tubular center stalk that grows up tall and begins to spiral toward the top. It will have a little bulb at the end. Using garden cutters, cut the stalk at the lowest point that you can without affecting any leaves.
Using Your Garlic Scapes
The scapes are just as versatile and flavorful as the bulb of the garlic plant, so your use of them depends on how much you love garlic. They can be eaten whole or sliced. Grilled or raw. As a side vegetable, in a soup, or simply as a garnish.