What is a Garlic Scape?! (AKA The Great ‘Scape)

I’ll be honest…. garlic scapes are not a very common pantry item for me. In fact, until a couple of weeks ago I hadn’t actually heard of them. That was until I went to visit the Garlic Farm down on the Isle of Wight.

Colin (AKA the Indiana Jones of the garlic world) started The Garlic Farm with a burning passion for all things allium* and took me for a wander to see all the different varieties and hear about the legends and mysticism surrounding them.

Garlic Scapes are the stalk that grows out of the garlic bulb above the soil. The season is really short as the farmers chop off the scape to encourage the bulb to grow bigger (the nutrients all go into the bulb instead of being shared across the bulb and the scape). So over here in the UK you’ll only see them gracing our dinner tables for about a month a year in June.

Cooking them is simple – you pretty much just treat them like asparagus. You could quickly roast them, or as I’ve done here just chop them down to a size that fits your pan, drop them into boiling, salted water for a minute, then drain and stir fry them.

They’ve got a really subtle garlicky flavour which would be perfect alongside a fresh piece of fish like sea bass or bream.

*That’s garlic to you and me.