Eating garlic scapes
we first grew hard-necked garlic, I read that the scapes are a spring delicacy.
However, the ones I tried were woody and sharply pungent, so I just
composted the scapes I removed in later years. (If you don't
pluck off the scapes, your garlic plants will put energy into growing
scapes instead of into bulb production, resulting in a smaller harvest,
so don't just ignore them.)
This year, I learned the
error of my ways in avoiding such a delicious food. As I started
cutting off scapes Tuesday morning, I got lazy and pulled on one
instead of snipping it. A long, tender scape
base came loose from deep inside the plant. Just like the grass
leaf bases you get the same way, this central core of the scape was
sweet and gentle on the tongue. So that's
what people were glowing over!
A few taste tests proved
that color is a clear indication of the border between sweet and tender
(white) and spicy and tough (green) portions of the scape. On the
youngest scapes, I cut off and discarded the green tips starting at the
bulbous portion, but on older scapes, I cut where the white began to
show a lot of green. Depending on your palate, you might want to include more or less of the
green portion in your meal.
Since our garden also
served up the first head of spring broccoli on Tuesday, I broiled the
broccoli and scape bases together, resulting in a delicious lunch
treat. Next year, I'm going to keep a closer eye on the scapes so
I can harvest them all at their peak!
Our chicken waterer is the POOP-free alternative
to filthy, traditional waterers.
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