Quick Bites from Pender

Top Five Friday: How to Use Garlic Scapes

In Kitchen Tips, Top 5 Friday on July 2, 2010 at 5:01 am


If you’ve been out at a Farmer`s Market in the last couple of weeks, you`ve probably seen bundles of these little curly-cues for sale.  Known as garlic greens, flowers or scapes — they are harvested from the tops of garlic plants at this time of yearby many growers in order to send all of the sun`s energy to the bulb developing under the soil.

Love the look and idea of these things but unsure how to use them?

Well, it’s Top Five Friday, so here are my 5 best ideas for incorporating garlic scapes into your everyday cuisine…


Garlic scapes have a mild garlic flavour that is slightly sharp when raw, but that mellows when cooked…just like garlic cloves.  To use, trim off the flower end, as well as any tough bottom ends.  Slice thinly on the bias and toss raw into salads, or:

1.  Use them like basil and make Garlic Scape Pesto.  Process trimmed scapes, herb of choice (lemon balm, parsley, or cilantro are good choices), parmesan cheese, olive oil, s+p until smooth — serve on pasta, over fish, mix with mayo for sandwiches…

2.  Use them like green beans and make this wonderful dish from Kathy Gori (use 1/2 beans, 1/2 scapes — all scapes would make for a truly garlicky dish…)

3.  Use them like green onions and put a new twist on a classic Spanish dish.  Blanch 6-8″ lengths until crisp tender, then grill until almost limp.  Serve with Romesco Sauce for dipping.

4.  Use them like peas – slice them into 1/4″ rounds and toss into Chinese Fried Rice.

5.  Use them like garlic —  finely mince scapes and shallot, sweat in olive oil, then mix with breadcrumbs, fresh basil, parsley, s+p — stuff into hollowed out tomatoes and bake at 350° F until golden.  Voilà…Tomato Provençal!



 Any other ideas out there?  Love to hear ’em!


  1. Thanks for those tips! I’ve never used garlic scapes before. I’ll look for them next week at the farmers market.

  2. These are fantastic tips! I just got some in my CSA box… I will have to try some of these out!

  3. I like them bbqed in oil and balsamic vinegar with asparagus. Straight on a warm grill, flower, stems and all. the flower tips will crisp up and I don’t eat that part but the rest is tender and nice.

    • I am following your directions right now Jojo…the briquettes are coming to an ashen gray, and the scapes are in an oil & balsamic bath…such a great idea…

  4. They’re gorgeous. There has to be a great way to use them that keeps the curls. I love them.

  5. Great post! I just bought a pile of these at the market and have been experimenting!

  6. Hi, I have not had these. Actually the first time I saw these were from Denise Fletcher’s Quickies on the Dinner Table post as soup.
    Thank you for sharing other ideas in preparing these wonderful garlic scapes.

  7. How could I resist a post like this?? I’ve been eating scapes for years but never made pesto with them!! That has got to change soon. Thanks for sharing all these great ideas 🙂

    • Thanks so much Denise…I actually “stole” your scape soup idea right after your post — and made it for the lunch special at work — tasty!

  8. Using them in flower arrangements keeps the curls nicely! They morph into fantastic (and lasting) shapes as they dry…..
    Also came across a posting this morning for Dried Garlic Scape Seasoning – chop or food process the scapes into small pieces – dehydrate – then in a coffee grinder make as fine as you like – use all year for seasoning everything that wants a light, bright garlic flavour.
    Thanks, Theresa, for your posting this morning from our Garlic farm – with mountains of scapes to deal with 🙂

  9. Garlic scapes are beautiful and fun to use. We discovered them when our CSA sent them in our bag several weeks in a row. I chop ’em up and add them to salad, gazpacho topping and sauteed into my morning scrambled eggs.

    Thanks for the refreshing photos.

    • Nice! Also, see Susan’s tip for drying them, then grinding them into a powder to use all year long….must. have. more. scapes.

  10. I love garlic scapes. These are great ideas, they a so very versatile.

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