Garlic Scapes are simply the tender shoots of the garlic plant. They grow from the woody stock of the plant into green, curly tendrils with a bud on the end. If allowed to continue growing, the bud will produce a cluster of small white or purple flowers that will eventually seed. The scapes are harvested above the woody stock while the bud is small and tender. Whether they are consumed or not, Garlic Scapes are generally removed from the plant so that, as it matures, its energy can be focused on growing the bulb instead of the flower. As such, it makes sense to use this tasty garden gem. The taste is a milder, sweeter form of garlic. Some say it tastes like a cross between garlic and chives. You can substitute in most recipes that call for garlic, scallions, or chives. Garlic Scapes can be sautéed, braised, roasted, and grilled. Enjoy them raw as a pesto, infused with oil, in an aioli, or in butter. Preserve them for later by freezing, canning, or fermenting them. Garlic Scapes are a good source of Vitamins A and C as well as fiber. They boast many of the nutritional benefits of garlic cloves, including being high in antioxidants, which, as part of a healthy diet, decrease inflammation in the body and are protective against things like arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. Wash with cool water before use, being sure to remove any dirt left over from the garden. As their season winds down, the tip, or beak, will yellow. Trim off and discard the beak as needed. The tendril and the bud are edible. Consume the entire scape, or you can discard the bud depending on your preference. Cook the scape whole, chopped or minced depending on your intended use. All of a sudden, I had a huge craving for some pesto. That is the exact moment that I decided to use my fancy Garlic Scapes from The Chef’s Garden to create a one-of-a-kind pesto. And to make it even better, packed the pesto into delectable Bella mushrooms. This is a special treat you will never forget! Have you worked with Garlic Scapes before? I would love to hear your story!
- In a high speed food processor, add garlic scapes, basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and pulse until combined.
- With the blender or food processor running, stream in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the blender and continue blending as needed until the olive oil is emulsified and the pesto looks uniform.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fill Bella mushrooms with pesto.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup. Toss walnuts in oil, salt, and pepper if desired. Arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Toast until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and chop.
- Sprinkle with filled mushrooms with toasted walnuts and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!