Thursday, June 6, 2013

Garlic Scapes


Tonight as I was watering in the kitchen garden, I suddenly noticed something in the garlic row. The garlic plants have started to form scapes! Garlic scapes are produced only in hard neck garlic varieties. These long serpent-like "flower" stalks appear as the plants reach maturity. I will let the scapes grow for another 5-10 days and then I will cut them off . I don't want my garlic to spend too much energy forming little bulbils in the small pod at the top of the scape. I want all of the plants energy to go toward making the largest garlic bulbs possible. Pictured above, "Chesnook Red" garlic.


You often find bunches of scapes for sale at local farmer's markets. The scapes have as strong a garlic flavor as the cloves do and are great to use in many recipes. Last year I made garlic pesto, swapping out chopped scapes where one would traditionally use basil. It was strong, but delicious! Pictured above & below, the "Russian Red" garlic plants and their loopy scapes.

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