Garlic scapes – What to do?

Gardening Science
Garlic scapes – What to do?

For the past few years our two 4′ x 8′ raised beds have been fully dedicated to garlic production. The ultimate lazy crop, you plant garlic in the Fall, let it do its thing over the Winter, weed it a few times, cut the scapes in early July, then harvest it in late July. After a little bit of drying, you have enough garlic to last at least a few months.

Cutting the scapes, or emerging buds that flower and then turn into above ground seed pods, will help your underground garlic heads grow nice and fat. The way I see it is that the plant can focus on the work of growing the bulb below the ground instead of sending nutrients to the flowering and seedbuilding upstairs. At the three farmer’s markets I have been to this week, garlic scapes have been on at least a few counters. The other day I went out in the latest edition of the rainy day, and snipped off a bucket load of aromatic garlic scapes. I left a few on the stalk, because these ones will give bulbs with fewer cloves in them.

So after you cut the scapes, what do you do with them? My first guess was, saute them in oil, dump some eggs on top and make an omelette. That worked out pretty good, but now what?

Here are a few ideas for recipes:
Garlic pesto

liked the flavor of the pesto quite a bit, but in the recipe I’m giving you I reduced the amount of garlic scapes and increased the amount of cheese quite a bit from the recipe I tried. Making pesto is an art, not a science anyway, so if you happen to stumble on some garlic scapes, give it a try and decide for yourself.

Lots of recipes from Claget Farm. Mariquita Farm has some great ideas too. The Amateur Gourmet discovers that working with them in the kitchen is at least a little bit different from octopus wrestling.

Not Without Salt has some very nice photographs along with some tasty recipes and stories about the love of garlic scapes.

What are your favorite recipes for garlic scapes? Serve them up in the comments!

14 thoughts on “Garlic scapes – What to do?

  1. Mike Ivanov says:

    My grandma used to pickle these, they are very delicious.

  2. BrianEnigma says:

    I steam them up like asparagus. It’s both tasty and healthy.

  3. citenonsite says:

    Grilled scapes are the best. put them in anything.

  4. butlerblog says:

    Here is a good recipe for pickling them:

    (lots of other good info there for makers on building a chicken plucker, a garden cart, and a wheel hoe.)

  5. Greg says:

    Chop them up and throw them on. They’re mild, so you won’t singe your mouth with garlic intensity.

  6. Kevin says:

    The next time you cook a steak, throw them in the cast iron skillet while the steak is resting. You are using a cast iron skillet and letting your steak rest, right? Anyway, this is the best use for scapes. I usually run out and pick up a couple of nice steaks just for this.

  7. Tim says:

    My friend Eric at has a couple videos on picking and grilling garlic scapes and making garlic scape pesto. You can see them here:

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Making things is the best way to learn about our world.

View more articles by Chris Connors


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).