June 7th I noticed our first garlic scape of the season!
Scapes are the flowering stalks of hard neck garlic that are removed a few weeks prior to harvesting the bulbs. Removing the flowering stalks (the scape) forces the plant to focus on developing a really nice bulb. Cutting the scapes essentially gives us 2 garlic harvests.
Scapes can be chopped and used like green onions, pickled, chopped sautéed and served like green beans with butter, roasted whole, used to make pesto, battered and deep fried, thrown in stir fry... so many options!
Our garlic was planted Nov 10th and I can't wait to see how they've grown when we pull the bulbs later this summer. So far the stalks are over 2' tall!
Since I have a pile of scapes in the kitchen I decided to make some compound butter! We eat a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches and I am excited to use some of this butter for extra flavor on them!
It can also be used on fresh vegetables, roasted potatoes, chicken, fish, meats, or even to give a little extra flavor to bruschetta!
1 cup chopped garlic scapes (trim off the top ends, they are stringy and tough)
1 cup softened butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1/2 fresh lemon juice
Combine butter, scapes, and lemon juice. Roll the butter into a log on parchment paper. Wrap and refrigerate.
Once the log is firm you can place in a ziplock bag and freeze for a couple of months. For immediate use place the compound butter in a jar or plastic container and refrigerate.
If you don't grow garlic you can sometimes find the scapes at grocery stores or farmers markets.
Garlic scapes have a sweet not bitter smell. And I wish you could all smell this compound butter through the screen because it is amazing! I halved the recipe since I didn't have a full cup of scapes and I know it won't last long!