Does your garlic look like this? Like it’s decided to shed its trustworthy girl-next-door image in favour of something a little more loose and blowzy?
Don’t worry: it’s cool. Just means it’s garlic scape time. If you planted a hardneck variety of garlic last fall, you’ll see a looping central stalk emerging right about now. Those stalks are called scapes, and they’re delicious steamed, stir-fried, or—my personal favourite—made into a pesto.
Instead of letting the scapes form a bulbil, lop them off just above the topmost leaf: not only can you eat them, but losing the scape forces the plant’s energy into producing a bigger bulb.
Ta-da! A garlic scape harvest (and all from a container on my balcony). There are about 10 scapes here: the perfect number for whizzing in the food processor with a little olive oil, Parmesan, and nuts (I use pine nuts or walnuts). Toss over warm new potatoes, or stir into pasta. Perfect.
Want to try your hand at growing garlic? Check out my article on successful garlic planting and growing.