Garlic Scapes: Curly. Green. Different.

May 24, 2010 3 Comments by EcoFlirt

The highlight of my trip to the Atherton Farmers Market last Saturday was an odd little veggie I hadn’t tried before: the garlic scape.  At first bite, the garlic scape went from an unknown to a kitchen staple.

Garlic scapes were introduced to me by Eric Williamson of Coldwater Creek Farms who is as friendly as he is knowledgeable: past weekends, he’s taken time to teach me about varieties of radishes and how to select the longest-lasting flowers. When Eric saw my group’s puzzled expression over these curly, slender green stalks (imagine a bumpy green onion in the shape of a pig’s tail), he cut a few pieces and allowed us to sample. The taste is a combination of garlic and onion, which comes as close to flavor nirvana as I can experience. He said to use garlic scapes much as you would use scallions to add a garlicky taste to anything from soups to eggs. He said that they also make wonderful pesto. As a lover of pesto and garlic, I picked up a three-dollar bundle and tried this immediately upon returning home.

I found a garlic scape pesto recipe and got to work. I used this pesto as a spread for Duke’s Bread and impressed the in-laws in town for the weekend. Coldwater Creek and Duke, I owe ya once again. If you’re a garlic fan, you’ve got to try this recipe.

Garlic scapes at markets are a sign that the garlic is soon on its way, and Coldwater Creek promises to have garlic in the coming weeks. From the glint in Eric’s eye, I bet this is something we don’t want to miss.

A word of warning: don’t include the lighter, bulbous part of the scape or your pesto will be very strong. In my rush, I forgot Eric’s advice and included the entire stalk and had to adjust to cut the flavor – yeowza! Luckily we’re a group who loves our garlic and chowed down on the pesto anyway, breath be damned.

Garlic Scape Pesto
(by Kim O’Donnel of Washington Post)

1 cup garlic scapes, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup walnuts
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmigiano
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper.

Farmers Market Recipes, Local Food

3 Responses to “Garlic Scapes: Curly. Green. Different.”

  1. jw says:

    Slide by our booth tomorrow and try out some Incelium Red heirloom garlic. This variety originated on the Colville Indian Reservation in Inchelium, WA. Many garlic afficianados consider this variety to be the standard by which others are judged. Won first place among 20 varieties for taste at the Rodale Food Center in 1991. Check out our blog at

    Flirt on with your bad self!


  2. EcoFlirt says:

    Wow, that sounds amazing! I’ll see you later today at Atherton, JW, and I look forward to trying that garlic!

  3. Janet says:

    Trying the recommended garlic scapes and your recipe this weekend. Coldwater Creek Farms also sells some amazing cheese!