What You Need To Know When Swapping Garlic With Scapes

Let's start with the basics here: What are scapes? Well, they are the green stems that sprout from the garlic bulb, and they tend to be thin and curly. They emerge from the ground in late spring and many farmers cut them off to channel more resources directly into the garlic bulbs. However, these green stems are delicious and completely edible even when they're young. They have a milder taste than garlic cloves are often compared to shallots or chives (Farmer's Almanac).

If you're a garlic lover, scapes are the perfect way to add a slight garlicky zing to any dish. Although for a long time they were simply discarded as waste by farmers, they have gained their seat at the table and can now be purchased by the bunch at farmer's markets (The Spruce Eats). So, the next time you find some garlic scapes be sure to grab a bunch as they can be refrigerated for up to three weeks. But, once you've bought them, how do you use them? 

Swapping garlic cloves for scapes

Similar to garlic, scapes are absolutely delicious when simply sautéed in a little bit of oil and can be used in most recipes that call for the clove itself. They can infuse oils, can be sautéed with vegetables and they can even flavor butter to make drool-worthy garlic bread (The Spruce Eats).

Beyond these substitutions, given that garlic scapes are green stems, one can choose to use them in slightly different ways than the more traditional garlic cloves. Bon Appétit notes that you can eat them either raw or cooked and enjoy them either whole or chopped. In order to prep them, be sure to cut away the stringy tip and then chop them as desired. Due to their color and texture, scapes are ideal for pesto, sauces, or simply chopped and used as you would chives. Alternatively, enjoy them on their own simply blanched and sautéed or battered and fried (via Food 52). Scapes are a great substitution for garlic and should definitely be given a try. If scapes aren't your thing, there are many other unique variations on garlic that will electrify your culinary knowledge.