Everything you need to know about garlic scapes – June’s hottest seasonal treat
They don't sound sexy and you've probably never heard of them, but garlic scapes are a Korean delicacy billed as the cool version of asparagus. We're not sure what that means either, other than they're tasty, green and have a short season. Here's your foodie need-to-know:
What are they exactly?
Garlic scapes are the flower stems that grow out of garlic bulbs. Depending on the variety, some have straight stems while some are curly.
What do they taste like?
Pretty garlicky (as you'd expect) but milder than garlic cloves. They have a grassy, fresh aroma too.
How do you cook them?
Garlic scapes like to be treated like asparagus, so steam, pan-fry in butter or roast in the oven. You can add them to stir-fries, soups and tarts too, while skinny young stems are perfect raw and chopped up in salads – a bit like spring onions.
Are we late to the party?
A bit. They've been 'a thing' in Korea for ages and it makes sense that they've come to our attention because Korean foods such as kimchi and bibimbap have both seen a surge in popularity.
Where do you get them?
Farmers' markets mainly. Like asparagus, they have a short season – they're only around for a few weeks in June – but they freeze well. Stock up if you're keen and add them to pasta dishes or mash whenever you want.
Give them a go in a pesto …
It's surprisingly tasty – and who said you needed basil anyway?