7 Things to do with Garlic Scapes

There's no use in trying to hide it, so I'm just gonna go ahead and lay it on you from the start. I get a little unnaturally excited about garlic scapes—the way some people do about football teams or politics or hamburgers. A handful of years ago, I was a passably respectable corporate lawyer who had never even heard of scapes. Then somehow I became a crazy CSA lady. Fast-forward to last spring, when the economy was imploding and everyone was feeling grimmer than usual. I made and froze like a dozen batches of scape pesto; and I am not kidding when I say that the prospect of cracking them open one by one in the depths of winter to stir into twelve steaming pots of pasta gave me a sense of hope that no friend or news report or even chocolate cake could give.

Whew! That felt good. I feel like I can really talk to you guys. So. Thanks for that.

In one sense, scapes are to garlic as fusilli is to rigatoni: the crazy-bastard college buddy who never really embraced adulthood, the one you catch up with by phone once or twice a year. Scapes are the shoots that grow out of the ground from hard-neck varieties of garlic. When they're young and tender, they look like curly green stalks with tightly closed buds on top. Farmers and gardeners harvest them at this time of year so that they won't drain nutrients from the garlic bulbs that will be dug up in a couple of months, plump and glorious and ready for drying.

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