It’s like Christmas, but in the middle of the summer, so it’s warm. There is a very small window, every year, usually in June, where garlic scapes are in season. It’s a short window–usually only a few weeks, so I go mad buying and making stuff out of these delicious green curly delights.
If you’ve never heard of them before, garlic scapes are the green tops of garlic which sprout in the spring. They are milder in taste than the actual cloves, and thicker and more fibrous than say, chives or a scallion.
But holy smokes, are they tasty! You can do so very many things with them, and I thought I’d share some of my favorite ways to use them with you.
Stir-frys. We eat a lot of stir-frys at our house. They are easy and healthy. I throw some rice in the rice cooker, or if we are really running late, I just make some noodles. Then I sautee up some diced tofu that I’ve tossed in cornstarch and set it aside. Finally, I quickly fry up whatever fresh veggies we have on hand–Michael likes broccoli and cauliflower, I usually have carrots and zucchini and onions, too. Dice up your garlic scapes and add them to this mix. Finish with a little sauce (we like hoisin) and voila! Dinner!
Pickled Garlic Scapes by Chef Heidi Fink.
Garlic Scape Pesto. This is the one I’ve been making for years. I make a huge batch and freeze it in ice cube trays, and it lasts me all year long.
Pickled scapes: These make an amazing garnish for that most Canadian of all cocktails: The Caesar. This recipe from the lovely Chef Heidi Fink.
Garlic Scape Jam: I made this for the first time last year, and it took me quite a few fails to get it right. I love this on a cracker with a slice of brie.
Image by Well Fed Flat Broke
Garlic Scape Cheese Bread: This recipe is from Well Fed, Flat Broke, and the first time I made it, Michael’s eyes literally rolled back in his head. Yeah. It’s really good.
What’s your favorite way of enjoying scapes? Let me know in the comments below, quick! Before the season is over!
Scapes! Scapes! Scapes! I’m obsessed. Every year I look forward to early June, when the Scapes are in season at the Farmer’s Market. I buy handfuls and then come home and turn them into pesto. The season is short, so I usually go back every week until they are gone just to snag more.
With ice cube trays full of frozen pesto now safely stowed in the freezer, I started thinking about other things I could do with scapes. Last year, I’d tried making a jam, but it failed miserably. I added a couple more fails to that count this year, but I finally hit on the right recipe.
The idea for this jam is more along the lines of a red pepper jelly–combining sweet, along with spicy, the tang of the vinegar, and, in this case, garlicky goodness.
I’d serve Garlic Scape Jam atop a baguette or crackers and cream cheese or brie. It brings a savoury element and pairs nicely with the softness of the cheese.
I think this would also be killer to serve with any grilled meats. Try including it in your favourite glaze recipe (many glazes call for jam or preserves) to finish off grilled chicken, pork or steak.
The sweet-savory with the hint of garlic really, really rocks.
I have one of these awesome home canning kits from Bernardin, and they sent me another one, so I thought I’d give it away to one of you so you can make your own Garlic Scape Jam or whatever you like!
It comes with:
a rack for easily raising and lowering your jars into the canning bath
a 21 quart canner
a jar lifter
a magnetic lid lifter (this is my fave thing!)
a bubble remover
a 4 pack Collection Elite decorative jars with lids
Original Crystals pectin and
a recipe booklet.
To win: in the comments section below, tell me what you’d make with your new canning kit.
2/3 cup Garlic scapes, washed–trim off anything above the flower
2 green Bell peppers, washed, seeded, and cut into chunks
1 cup white or apple cider vinegar
5 cups sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional–if you like a little heat)
1 package Bernardin liquid Pectin
Place 6 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
Chop up the scapes into manageable 2″ sections, and put them in the blender. Blend the crap out of them until they are nicely pureed. Place them in a large, heavy-bottomed, stainless steel pot.
Repeat the same process (pureeing) with the green peppers, and add them to the pot as well, including any liquid that results from the blending.
Now add the vinegar and the sugar (and the hot pepper if you are using), and stir everything well to mix. Bring to a boil and allow to slow boil for 10 minutes. Add the pectin, and hard boil for one minute to thicken.
Using the funnel, ladle jam into hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using the air bubble tool, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more jam. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Using your magnetic lid lifter, pull a lid out of the hot water, and centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining jam.
Using the jar lifter, fill up the canning rack that you’ve placed in the canner, in the position where it’s not in the water. Lower the rack into the water, ensuring that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process – boil filled jars – 10 minutes.*
When processing time is complete, turn stove off, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands (listen for the “pop”s! It’s the most satisfying sound in the world!).
After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.