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Garlic Scapes - The Edible Flower of Hardneck Garlic

Updated: Mar 25

Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are the flower stem that grows from the center of the hardneck garlic varieties. When allowed to grow, or left on the plant, the scape will grow from 1 to 6 feet above the leafy part of the garlic plant in late spring. The longer the scape is left on the garlic plant and the taller it gets, the more woody and inedible the scape will become.

Most gardeners remove the garlic scapes. This will re-direct the energy that goes to making the flower, back down to the bulb. If scapes are allowed to remain on the plant they can reduce the overall size of the garlic bulb. Cut or 'snap' the scape at the base, where it emerges from the plant, once the scape has formed a bend or circle. The scape may regrow if it is removed before it coils.

Scapes can be eaten, and are similar to chives, but with a sweet garlicky flavor. They can be used as a substitution for garlic in a recipe, grilled, sautéed, pickled, dehydrated, or made into pesto.


Garlic Scape Pesto; Recipe by Vanilla and Bean (via Google)

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 20 Servings

Calories: 79kcal

Author: Vanilla And Bean

Pesto is a pantry staple. Freeze fresh summer pesto for a burst of summer in the middle of winter. This Garlic Scape Pesto is, versatile and a fabulous addition to pizza, pasta, crostini, potato salad or sandwiches. Recipe yields about 1 1/4 Cup. This recipe is vegetarian + gluten free | The nutrition estimate below is for about 1 Tbs per serving.


  • 10 Garlic Scapes

  • 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts *see notes for substitute!

  • 1/3 Cup Parmesan Asiago or simply Parmesan dice or shredded **see note

  • 1/2 Lemon juiced

  • 1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt

  • A few grinds of Pepper

  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil


  • Trim the garlic scapes by cutting just below the bulb and also any woody part of the stem (think asparagus). Discard and set the remaining scape aside.

  • In a food processor, add the scapes, twirling them around the center so that they all fit. Add the pine nuts, cheese, juice of the lemon and salt and pepper. Process by pulsing until the mixture begins to break down. Scrape the bowl down.

  • With the processor running, slowly add all the olive oil. Continue to process until all the ingredients are incorporated and broken down, about one minute.

  • Store in a covered container or lidded jar in the fridge and enjoy within a week. Also, you can freeze the pesto in a jar or in an ice-cube tray. Once frozen, in the ice-cube tray, remove and place in a zip top bag in the freezer.

Notes *Unless purchased in bulk, the cost of pine nuts can be quite high. Toasted walnuts will be a fine sub for this recipe. Simply rough chop the walnuts and measure 1/3 C (30g). **Parmesan Cheese: Look for vegetarian friendly Parmesan cheese (one that does not use rennet in production). BelGioioso vegetarian Parm can be hard to find, but Organic Valley is more widely available and Stella offers a vegetarian friendly Parm.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.

Serving: 1, Tbs | Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 31IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

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