Cutting Garlic Scapes

Garlic growing in the garden

Hard neck varieties of garlic shoot up a flower stalk generally referred to as a “garlic scape”, it seems to be a common belief you can get bigger better garlic bulbs by snipping off the scapes. The story goes if the garlic is allowed to make a flower, the flower will divert energy away from making the bulb, so your suppose to cut off the flower and end up with more bulb.

Cut garlic scapes off at the first leaf joint

I had never cut back the scapes off my garlic before, I was afraid of hurting the plants or doing it wrong and killing them! But its such an easy task and better yet the scapes are edible and delicious! To cut back garlic scapes simply snip off the budding stem at the first leaf joint. The Garlic stems snap apart easily, all you need for this job is a pair of house hold scissors, you don’t even have to break out the pruning shears.

Fresh cut scapes

Eaten raw garlic scapes have a garlicky kick to them a bit like eating a giant garlic chive. Once cooked the flavor mellows out considerably, they cook up to be supple and stringy like the texture of cooked asparagus. When prepping garlic scapes cut off and discard the flower buds and the pointy tips, they are tough and not chewable. You can use garlic scapes in almost any dish, steam, stir-fry, braise, sauté, bake? Their flavor is quite neutral and I would say as versatile as broccoli.

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2 Responses to Cutting Garlic Scapes

  1. My garlic had already flowered before I found your blog, and prior to that had no idea I could (and should) cut these “scapes” off) Had never even heard the term before. So, as a last resort I cut and saved the flower heads. My question is, do you know if the “flowers” (mini garlics) are edible? I’m thinking sure but can’t find any mention of this on the net. Now I do know about scapes for next year, yum, can’t wait, thanks!

    • Oh I never though of that! I did have one garlic flower on me and I just asumed it was edible hahaha probably should have looked in to that!!! I used it like a chive flower in salsa so far I have lived to tell the tale

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