Using Garlic Scapes
The end of May into early June is the season of Garlic scapes
(= flower stems).
If you haven't experienced these tasty delights before, they make a welcome alternative before the fresh garlic is ready (mid-June onwards).
All parts of the scape can be used, chopped finely like you would a clove or two, and added to food in the normal way - or you can be a bit more adventurous !
(Picture right shows large flower stems on Elephant garlic.)
All `hardneck` varieties of garlic will produce a flower (hence the name as the dried bulb has a hard `neck` to it).
Some people think their garlic is `bolting` or going to seed , but this is normal for these varieties. A lot of energy goes into producing the flower so it is best removed as soon as it can, allowing the energy to go into bulb growth.
Some varieties produce straight slender stems and others get quite involved twisting as they grow.
Uses for Garlic scapes -
Scapes can be steamed like you would asparagus, and taste delicious with a knob of butter.
Place them inside fish with a slice of lemon before baking.
They also can make delicious pesto. The following recipe is a basic guideline but variations on the same theme are entirely up to you, with chilli and spices added if you need a little heat !
1/3 cup of Pistachios (or a nut of your choice)
1/3 cup of parmisan cheese , grated
Salt and pepper
Place all ingredients without the oil into a blender, until well blended and mixed.
Gradually add oil slowly until the right consistency is achieved (amount may be down to your own preference)
Will keep for a week refrigerated or can be frozen up to a month
Garlic Pasta !
Simply boil Penne pasta with a generous pinch of sea salt, drain and toss with a large portion of your own Garlic pesto ! A quick lunchtime dish or leave to cool to use as a salad.