Garlic scapes, a.k.a. the flower stalk of Allium sativum
Who am I?
- Plant family: Amaryllidaceae
- Harvest season: Mid-to-late June
- Botanical details: Scapes are the shoots that grow from hard-necked garlic. They are harvested in June, once they begin to curl, so that the plant puts the majority of its resources into forming its bulb (i.e. heads of garlic)
- Great source of*: Because garlic scapes are generally eaten in small amounts (as is garlic, generally), one wouldn't normally consider it as a source of nutrients. However, scapes are thought to share the benefits of garlic cloves, including antioxidant properties.
*contains more than 10% of the recommended daily allowance for these nutrients
How to care for me:
- Keep me in a plastic bag in the fridge, or, if you're planning to use me quickly, with my stems in a glass of water on the counter (make sure the trim the stem right before putting the scapes in the glass).
- Scapes are great grilled or sautéed, and pair well with anything that tastes good with garlic cloves, for instance: chicken, beef, eggs, mushrooms, olive oil, and tomatoes. The flavor is a bit milder than that of bulb garlic.
How to cook me:
- Here's an excellent guide to using garlic scapes, from Epicurious.com
- And here's another, from Bon Appétit
Fun Facts (about garlic in general, not scapes, specifically):
- The word "garlic" is Anglo-Saxon in origin, and translates as "spear plant."
- In Ancient Greece, brides carried bouquets of garlic and herbs.
- In Bram Stoker's Dracula, garlic is mentioned 21 times.
- The city of Chicago got its name from the word "chicagaoua," a Native American term for the wild garlic that grows near Lake Michigan.
- The juice from garlic can be used as an adhesive.