Garlic scapes are the "flower stalks" of hardneck garlic plants, although they do not produce flowers. These stalks start to appear a month or so after the first leaves. They are usually cut off of the plant, since leaving them on only diverts the plants strength away from forming a plump bulb. If left on, they eventually form small bulbils that can be planted to grow more garlic, but it takes 2–3 years for them to form large bulbs. Many gardeners simply toss their scapes in the compost, but garlic scapes are both edible and delicious. (Source: About.com)
It's absolutely fascinating that the hardneck garlic plant will grow it's flower into an artful circles Why not just grow straight up and be done with it? Maybe it's nature's way of adding a little extra beauty to the world. In any case, it's unique and lovely!
Absolutely lovely too is the taste of grilled garlic scapes. Drizzle them with a little olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and toss them on the grill for a couple of minutes. They have a gentle garlic flavor and an asparagus-like texture that pairs very well with any meat. Fantastic!
I re-posted this from last year. Garlic scapes will be here for a VERY short time (possibly only one more week) at the Potter County Farmer's Market (Coudersport Courthouse Square, Fridays, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. They freeze well and make a wonderful pesto.
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