Meet the Garlic Part You're Not Using But Should Be

These curly green guys called garlic scapes are in season right now.
By Janet Taylor McCracken ,

The next time you go to the farmers’ market, keep an eye out for bundles of curly green stalks. They’re called garlic scapes, and they’re super delicious. In late spring and early summer, garlic growers cut off the scapes to allow larger bulbs to grow—and they sell the snipped parts, too. 

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Here are a few things you should know before buying garlic scapes:

  1. The scapes taste mild but distinctly garlicky, so they're great for recipes where you just want a little bit of a bite.
  2. Super-swirly scapes look cool, but those with fewer loops are more tender. 
  3. They’ll stay fresh in the crisper for a few weeks, giving you plenty of time to use the  stems in lots of dishes. 
  4. Chop them up and stir them into chicken salad; whiz them into pesto; or braise them whole and serve as a side with grilled steak. See more recipe ideas below.

Related Recipe: Rachael Ray's Green Garlic Burgers with Mild Provolone & Balsamic Special Sauce

And here's some more info for true garlic geeks. Garlic comes in two varieties: hardneck and softneck. Softneck garlic is mild, with a soft neck (duh), and is the kind typically stocked by your supermarket. Hardnecks have tougher necks that grow into flower stalks (or scapes) and eventually bloom!

Rachael's Green Garlic Burger calls for garlic scapes. Get the recipe here!

Photography by Tara Donne

Try adding garlic scapes to these recipes!

Skillet Rosemary Focaccia

Recipe: Try our Skillet Rosemary Focaccia

Classic Skillet Hash

Recipe: Try our Classic Skillet Hash

Feta & Herb Frittata

Recipe: Try our Feta & Herb Frittata

Grilled Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crostini

Recipe: Try our Grilled Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crostini

Flatiron Steak Soba

Recipe: Try our Flatiron Steak Soba

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