Perfect vegetable side dish? This is it. Garlic scapes are the shoots that grow out of garlic bulbs. They’re super simple to prepare — saute with lemon and butter, and savor every last bite!
Fiesty little things, no? These are garlic scapes. In late spring/ early summer, they pop up at farmer’s markets and CSA boxes all over the country. If you see them, grab a bunch. What a seasonal treat!
So, what are they?
Garlic scapes are the shoots of a growing garlic bulb, They look like long, green spirals with scraggly tips. Sometimes, they even have buds at the end. What’s interesting, is that garlic is harvested twice: one for the curly scapes and the other for the bulb itself.
What do Garlic Scapes Taste Like?
When cooked, they are mild and slightly sweet in flavor (think roasted garlic) and boast an asparagus-like texture. Such a unique combo. When served raw, such as a garlic scape pesto, they are a bit more pungent.
Recipes to try?
There are several ways to prepare garlic scapes; they make an excellent vegetable side dish.
You’ll love this simple recipe with lemon butter. It requires zero planning and very little effort. Ready in under 10 minutes! It’s an excellent introduction.
PS: Garlic scapes also delicious grilled (serve with steak!), used as a pizza topping or diced into cheesy omelettes. No matter how you prepare them, the smell of warm, fragrant garlic will tantalize your senses. Delicious.Print
Garlic Scapes Recipe with Lemon Butter
- Prep Time: 2
- Cook Time: 5
- Total Time: 7 minutes
- Yield: 2
- Category: Vegetable Side Dish
- Method: Saute
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
Perfect vegetable side dish? This is it. Garlic scapes are the shoots that grow out of garlic bulbs. They’re super simple to prepare — saute with lemon and butter and savor every last bite!
- 1 bunch of garlic scapes
- 1 tb. unsalted butter
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Trim the ends and tips off of your garlic scapes. Cut into manageable pieces that will fit into a large skillet.
- Over medium heat, warm the butter and a splash of olive oil.
- Add your garlic scapes to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and sautee for about 3-5 minutes. Add a splash of water and cover with a lid. Continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Your garlic scapes are finished when they are crisp tender.
- Transfer to a serving dish and squeeze over some fresh lemon. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
Do you use the top teardrop shaped pod?
Emilie Raffa says
Hi Sue! Yes, I use the whole thing.
I cooked scapes up for the first time with your recipe. They were delicious. Thank you for sharing.
Emilie Raffa says
You’re very welcome. So simple and delicious!
Rosemary Dupuis says
Can you freeze the scapes cut up and throw into a soup or spaghetti sauce. Thanks for your ideas on cooking them.
Emilie Raffa says
Rosemary, I’ve never tried it. But I don’t see why not! I think they would be great in fried rice too :)
Mary Ann says
Enjoyed reading this! I grow garlic every year and look forward to the scapes, like really look forward to them. I make pesto and fresh noodles and I am in heaven!
Somehow I got garlic planted randomly in my front garden along with my Irises and Hostas. I had no idea what it was until I saw your post. Unfortunatley when I cut them, I did at the top of the bulb not the top of the leaves. So I have the scapes not sure how the bulb will be since there is no stalk. However, I’ll be using your recipe and will be cooking them right up. Hope they are good as they smell.
Hi Bette, what a fun surprise! I’m not sure how the bulb will be either (I’ve never grown garlic myself), but it will certainly be interesting to see what happens. The actual garlic scapes are fantastic. In addition to this recipe, try throwing a bunch in some homemade basil pesto for a mild, garlicky kick!
Bob s says
I raise several thousand garlic plants every year. This recipe makes me look forwrd to June.
Hi there, I just found you through Celia’s website and I’ve been having a nosey around your recipes – hope you don’t mind. I’ve always wondered what garlic scapes are so this caught my eye and now I know – thank you!
Hi Nancy! Absolutely- be nosy all you want!! :)
Aren’t garlic scapes interesting? I’ve used them in several applications and they are incredible. I especially love them grilled, and then diced up over pizza. Mmmm…
Thanks for stopping by!