What to do with garlic scapes.

I’ve spotted them—in my own garden and at farmers’ markets—just in the last week: Garlic scapes. Hooray!

What is a garlic scape, you ask? The scape is the little curlicue sprout that shoots from the top of a hardneck garlic plant. Many home gardeners and professional growers cut off the garlic scape to direct the plant’s energy toward growing a full, fat bulb (the underground part), which is harvested in July around these parts. (See here for a how-to on growing garlic. You should absolutely try it.)

Garlic scapes have a milder, “greener” flavor than garlic cloves, and you can chop the green parts and use them in place of (or in addition to) the cloves.

I snipped a few garlic scapes from my garden last weekend, chopped them and tossed them with a pint of cherry tomatoes, some fresh thyme, and a glug of olive oil, then grill-roasted them in a foil packet for 20 minutes. Divine!!

What to do with garlic scapes?

  • Finely mince 2 garlic scapes and stir them into your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing along with a tablespoon of fresh tarragon or chives
  • Add finely minced garlic scapes to homemade mayonnaise
  • Sauté chopped garlic scapes and add them to tomato sauce for pasta
  • Toss some in a marinade for grilled chicken
  • This weekend, I plan to make a batch of my friend Soup Addict’s homemade ricotta cheese and stir in some minced fresh herbs and garlic scapes
  • Dorie Greenspan turns them into garlic scape pesto.

Like everything wonderful, garlic scapes are a fleeting, seasonal pleasure. If you can find a bagful at your farmers’ market, by all means bring some home.

Do you cook with garlic scapes? Please share your recipes and ideas here!

8 thoughts on “What to do with garlic scapes.

  1. Bryn,
    Last week I harvested the first couple of scapes from the precocious plants in my garlic bed and added them to an asparagus pizza. I’m still waiting for the rest of the class to produce their scapes, and then I should have enough to make pesto. Though I just read on AnnieRie’s blog that all scapes are not created equal–so I may need to taste and see if my pesto is not too strong.


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  5. I live in China and we love garlic scrapes here (though I never knew what they were called in English)! We stir fry them with any kind of meat (julienne strips) or carrots in slivers with them tastes great too!