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How To Cook Garlic Scapes: The Two-Step Method That Gets It Right Every Time

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How To Cook Garlic Scapes: The Two-Step Method That Gets It Right Every Time

They are beloved by chefs yet difficult to find at local supermarkets. We could very well be talking about truffles but the topic at hand are garlic scapes. Have you heard of them? Most importantly, do you know how to cook garlic scapes?

If you are fortunate enough to get a hold of this precious summer vegetable you'll want to cook it up perfectly, enjoying its garlicky flavor and subtle sweetness while retaining a pleasant crunch.

Garlic scapes, like other stalky greens, benefit from a quick dunk in boiling water then a run through the sauté pan so they can caramelize and marry with other ingredients. Below we break down the process so you can cook garlic scapes like a pro.

Ryan Dickey/Flickr

What are garlic scapes?

Garlic scapes resemble snake beans (long Chinese beans) but come from hardneck garlic plants. They are long, curly and have a flower bud attached to the tip.

Garlic scapes have a divine flavor that really shines when the vegetable is sautéed, roasted and even pickled. They are only in season during the early summer and worth hunting for at your local farmers' market.

How To Cook Garlic Scapes: An Easy Two-Step Method

Step One

First, fill a stock pot with water and bring to a boil. In the meantime, wash the garlic scapes to remove any debris. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large glass bowl with water and ice cubes. Once boiling, salt the water and add the garlic scapes. If you have a lot of garlic scapes do this in bunches.

Boil until bright green, just about two minutes. Immediately pull the beans out of the pot and dunk in an ice bath. Drain well. 

Step Two

Cut the garlic scapes to the size you like. Heat up some garlic and perhaps chopped onions in a sautée pan. Once the onions have turned golden add the garlic scapes. Toss for a few minutes until the garlic scapes have browned nicely. Serve.

Recipe Ideas for Cooking Garlic Scapes

Now that you've learned how to cook garlic scapes, what are you going to eat them with? You could toss them with pasta, turn them into pesto or serve them as a salad but here are some other great recipe ideas to try.

Enjoy a tasty Korean stir fry of garlic scapes with soy sauce, rice syrup and sesame seeds. Youtuber Maangchi shows you how to make it:

Another great idea is to pickle garlic scapes. This way you can enjoy them long after the season is over. 
You'll find all the instructions over at Hillsborough-Homestead.

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