Garlic Scapes

Yesterday we enjoyed a shared lunch at the home of some friends who live up the end of this road. We relished the delicious food, conversation with like-minded individuals, and a leisurely wander around part of a beautiful organic property.

During our post-prandial wander, we stopped to admire the garlic beds, and noticed lovely tender scapes (flower heads) emerging from the elephant garlic. Garlic scapes need to be picked off, so that the plants channel their energy into forming larger bulbs rather than flowers. It turns out that our neighbours don’t care to eat garlic scapes, so we and the other visitors pitched in to help pick them — and left for home with boxes full of these tasty treats.

Garlic scapes

Eating garlic scapes takes me back to the year when I lived in Korea, and tasted garlic scape kimchi — a spicy, lacto-fermented delicacy. (Before that, I didn’t even know you could eat any other part of the garlic apart from the bulb.) I can’t find a recipe for garlic scape kimchi, so have improvised one, which I’ll post on this website if it turns out ok! Apart from making kimchi from the scapes, we’ve also enjoyed them sauteed in olive oil with a little salt. Cooking mellows their pungency, leaving a delicious asparagus-like taste.

4 Responses to “Garlic Scapes”

  1. Angela says:

    Even if the kimchi doesn’t turn out fabulous, I must have the recipe! We get bunches of scapes from our CSA, and if I were to make kimchi with some of them, my husband would be in garlic-lover heaven! Can’t wait to hear how it turned out…and I will be more than happy to reciprocate with any modifications.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Hi Angela,
    The garlic scape kimchi came out ok in the end. It has taken a full three weeks to develop a good taste, but we are now finding it quite pleasant. I’ll post the recipe as soon as I can, so please keep an eye on the website. I think the recipe could probably still be improved on, so would be very interested to hear about any modifications you make to it. I think an authentic Korean recipe would probably add kochu-jang (that’s a Korean hot chile paste that we can’t get here).
    Thanks for letting me know that you are interested.
    Best, Rebecca

  3. […] When I wrote about the garlic scapes a while back, I mentioned that we were going to make kimchi with some of them. Now that we’ve tried the kimchi, I have to admit that we much prefer to eat the garlic scapes stir-fried. Still, we’d probably make this kimchi again if we couldn’t get through all our garlic scapes while they are still fresh. The kimchi tastes fine, even if it’s not as good as eating freshly cooked garlic-scapes, and it’s certainly a good way to preserve them. I tried making two versions of the kimchi — one raw and one blanched. The raw one was stringy and horrible. Even Kevin wouldn’t eat it, and he’s a full-scale garlic monster! We won’t be making that again! We certainly advise blanching the garlic scapes before making them into kimchi.                 Garlic Scape Kimchi […]

  4. Garlic scapes are something that we eat everyday in China. I like it very much. You can see one cold dish recipe here.