Before hardneck garlic bulbs, such as elephant garlic, fully mature and are ready to be harvested, they throw out long, curly flower heads – these are called scapes. Left to their own devices, garlic scapes would eventually produce tiny bulbs of their own, called bulbils. But because these divert food and energy away from the star attraction, our producer prefers to snip the scapes off, enabling the garlic bulb to increase in size by up to 50%.
These tender scape stalks are delicious and comparable in texture to young asparagus, with a delicate hint of garlic flavour. Simply griddle or sauté the stems with salt and pepper or steam as you would green beans and serve with a squeeze of lemon and knob of butter. Alternatively try making them into a pesto or cooking on a pizza. The season is short so try them while you can.
Origin: Isle of Wight, UK
These scapes last for up to four weeks stored in the fridge.
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