How to Cook With Garlic Scapes

July 13, 2014

How to Cook with Garlic Scapes

When I first moved to New York five years ago, one of the new habits I acquired was weekly trips to the farmer’s market. This was how I fell in love with fresh raw corn; heirloom apples like Ambrosia (so special); and new leafy greens like sorrel and amaranth. It’s also how I found garlic scapes: these cute, curly green shoots are the “flower stalks” of the garlic plant. They’re cut away so that the energy goes into the garlic bulb. The scapes taste a bit milder than garlic bulb, and have the crunchy texture similar to green beans or asparagus. I love experimenting with different ways to use garlic scapes during summer because they’re quite versatile and take heat better than garlic cloves.

1. In a Mediterranean-inspired breakfast scramble–Chop up garlic scapes into 2″ pieces. In a saute pan, heat some olive oil. Add garlic scapes and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, turmeric, dried thyme and oregano, a pinch of rosemary, and saute until mushrooms are softened. Add cubed firm tofu and cook, turning only occasionally, until the sides are browned. Then mash the tofu with a spatula. Add kalamata olives and/or capers. How to Cook with Garlic Scapes

2. In tacos–cooked garlic scapes are reminiscent of cooked cactus, so this is an interesting substitution. Saute garlic scapes and portobello mushrooms until softened. De-glaze the pan with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Take off the heat and serve with avocado, corn tortillas and hot sauce.

How to Cook with Garlic Scapes

3. In pesto–in a blender or food processor, blend a bunch of basil, garlic scapes, walnuts or pine nuts, and olive oil for a fresh take on a classic.

4. Roasted vegetables–who doesn’t love roasted vegetable medley? Next time, put some garlic scapes along with asparagus, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, radishes, or whatever else you like to roast.

5. In a dip–de-frost edamame. Blend with some garlic scapes, a bit of dill, and lemon juice for a fresh, green bean dip.

6. In salads–use a vegetable peeler to make thin ribbons out of garlic scapes, and mix with your favorite raw vegetables like corn, beets, carrots, spinach, and tomatoes.

7. In a risotto–Heat olive oil in a pot. Add garlic scapes and saute for about 5 minutes until softened. Add Arborio rice and toast for another minute. Add about 1/2 cup white wine and allow to de-glaze the pan and absorb into the rice. Start ladling warmed vegetable broth, 1 cup at a time, for about 30 minutes, while constantly stirring. Finish with a drizzle of truffle oil and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.


Have you tried garlic scapes? What’s your favorite way to cook them? 

Also see: How to Use Fresh Turmeric Root

The Amazing Sweet Potato – plus Vegan Ethiopian Recipe

Soy Free Tofu? Yes, it exists!

Healing Ingredients – The Magic of Mushrooms




Photo: Peaceful Dumpling

Juhea is the founder and editor of Peaceful Dumpling and the author of bestselling novel Beasts of a Little Land. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, @juhea_writes and Pinterest.


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