Scapes are the flowering stem of any hardneck garlic variety such as Elephant Garlic. They are in season in May for about 6 weeks only.
They are beautiful, edible and incredibly delicious. At the Isle of Wight Garlic Farm, they cut these flowering stems off not long after they appear and well before they flower in order to send the growing energy into the bulb and maximise the bulb size. You can cook with scapes in the following ways: simply sauté in butter or oil and season well, chop and sauté to soften slightly before adding to risottos or stews, sauté until softened before adding stock and cream then liquidise into a delicious soup.
Other recipe ideas:
Chop into pieces and sauté in butter or oil for about 5 - 6 minutes and serve like a green bean or add to salads and stir fries.
Roast or BBQ the scapes whole and serve like garlicky asparagus with an aioli dip or just some balsamic and olive oil. You can eat the whole stem and flower head.
Make a garlicky pesto using scapes in place of basil.
Lightly sauté then into risotto dishes.
Make a tempura batter and deep fry them. Serve with sweet chilli dipping sauce. (This is a Garlic Farm favourite)
Chop and blanch them and stir them into mash potato.
Make a scape hummus replacing or mixing in with the chickpeas.
Chop into pieces and sauté or steam the scapes then add them to omelettes, quiches and tarts.
Can you believe that this year marks the 5th anniversary of West Hampstead farmers market? Thank you so much for your support; we hope that you
keep enjoying the market for another 5 years.
You may have seen very early strawberries for sale at some markets, on Fiveways Fruit Farms stall. Julian Mead explains.
Find out what's at your local market in spring...