Garlic scapes are the flower stems that garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature. We harvest the scapes to encourage the plants to put their energy toward larger bulbs.
Scapes are more delicate than garlic bulbs; it is not necessary to use very high heat to cook them. If you have a scape that has started to curl, trim off the base of the stem and fine tips. One simple recipe is to sauté chopped scapes in olive oil, then pour a beaten egg mixture over them and garnish with fresh herbs.
Sautéed Garlic Scapes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
8 oz garlic scapes, trimmed
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 cup grilled haloumi cheese, diced
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add sugar. Stir to caramelize the sugar for about 2-3 minutes and add the scapes. Cover and sauté over medium-high heat for no more than 3 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan to prevent scorching. After 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and wine. Stir, then cover and reduce heat to low; continue cooking 5-6 minutes or until scapes are tender but not soft. Season, then add the parsley and haloumi. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Haloumi Cheese Note: Haloumi cheese is a goat and/or sheep cheese made in Cyprus. It can be sliced and grilled or fried in a skillet, and it doesn’t melt. Other salty cheeses such as cheddar or aged chevre can be substituted in this recipe (but I think the haloumi is a perfect compliment to the scapes).