If you grow garlic you will notice that some varieties will try to flower. In most cases what eventually forms in garlic are not true flowers but little tiny garlic bulbils as garlic has to all intents and purposes lost the ability to sexually reproduce centuries if not millennium ago. There have been some success in getting wild strains to produce some garlic seed but they have not been released to the general public and it is rare if not impossible that you will see a true garlic flower. Because of this we call the flowering stalk a scape, not a flower.
The bonus of these scapes is that they are edible and should also be removed from the plant to allow it to focus all its energy on building bulbs.
So if you need to remove these scapes what do you do with them? The flavour of a scape is slightly stronger than a scallion or spring onion and has a definite garlic flavour but not as strong as a true bulb.
Snap the scapes like you would asparagus to remove any woodiness. Slice finely like a spring onion or scallion or up to 1 inch long pieces. Stir fry with a little rapeseed oil for 3-6 minutes on a very high heat until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grill or Bbq
Snap the scapes to remove any woody stems. Toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper and a little chopped rosemary or lemon zest if you like. On a very high heat grill the scapes on both sides until lightly charred.
Garlic scape butter
Snap the scape to remove any woody stem. Chop the scape in to chunks and process in a food processor along side an equal weight of parsley, rosemary or basil until finely chopped. Stir in an equal weight of the scapes and herbs of softened butter and a squeeze of lemon. Use to top vegetables or chicken or slice a bake at home baguette and spread the butter between the slices. Bake at 200c for 20 minutes or following manufacturers instructions. The butter can be chilled, sliced and frozen if you have too much.
- Serves: 4
- Rating: Easy
- Prep time: 5 minutes if using a blender, half an hour if doing it by hand.
- Cook time: None
- 60g Parmesan
- 30g pine nuts
- 60g basil
- 30g finely chopped garlic scapes
- 1 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp flax oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 pinch is salt (optional)
If using a nutibullet put the dry ingredients in first, then the basil and then the wet ingredients. Pulse until desired consistency is obtained. If there is not enough liquid add a touch more lemon.
If making in by hand then finely chop the basil in small batches, putting each batch in a mixing bowl when done.
Chop the pine nuts and garlic together finely with the salt is using and add to the basil.
Grate the Parmesan and add it to the mix along with the oils and lemon juice.
Serve immediately although it will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for a few days. It will loose its vivid green colour when exposed to air.