Green Garlic vs Garlic Scapes

Green Garlic vs Garlic Scapes
Green Garlic vs Garlic Scapes

When visiting the farmer’s market, many people walk away confused. They know what garlic is, but what the heck is green garlic and garlic scapes?

It seems so obvious to everyone else at the market that they don’t want to stop and ask. This article will clear up the confusion.

Green Garlic

Green Garlic
Green Garlic

Green garlic is simply young garlic (soft-necked variety) that is picked early in the growing season, before the garlic bulb can fully form. It has tender stalks and a white base.

Depending on when it is picked, the white base may be larger or smaller. Very young green garlic will look more like a garlic onion because the base hasn’t expanded at all. Picked a little later and the bulb will be a little larger and look more like a spring onion. Waiting still longer will produce green garlic that may have a bulb with small cloves.

Green garlic tastes like garlic, just more subtle. It is not as strong or spicy.

Many farmers pick green garlic so that they can thin out the garlic in the fields. Other farmers will just grow garlic to this stage because of its popularity.

It is easy to mistake green garlic for spring onions. The nose knows best though. You will immediately recognize a garlic or an onion odor.

Another difference is the stems. Green garlic has a flat step whereas spring onions have tubular stems.

Storage:

Store green garlic in the fridge and it will stay fresh for 5-7 days. Green garlic can be stored in the fridge, freezer or dehydrated:

  • Wash and wrap the green garlic in a damp paper towel and place in a zipper bag.
  • Place washed green garlic (roots down) in a glass with a bit of water in the bottom.
  • Green garlic can be frozen blanched (for only 30 seconds) or unblanched and stored in an airtight container. Don’t forget to label them.
  • When freezing, lay them out on a cookie sheet in one layer and place it in the freezer for a few hours. Then transfer into airtight container or freezer-safe bag. This will prevent them from clumping together.
  • Dehydrating is an awesome option. They can then be incorporated into other spice blends or stored in a jar on their own. Here is the technique I use.

Preparation

To prepare green garlic:

  • Trim the roots off
  • Slice the white and tender stalk and use in many recipes
  • The tougher, darker ends of the stalk are also edible and are best cooked in soups or stocks

Uses For Green Garlic

Green garlic can be used in so many dishes:

  • Use it however you normally use garlic
  • Add it raw to salads, stir frys, or anywhere else you would add green onion
  • Add to soups, stew, or sauces
  • Add to rice, pasta or potatoes

Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes
Garlic Scapes

Scapes are the curly stalks of more mature garlic (hard-necked varieties) that will eventually flower. Since the stalks require a lot of energy to grow, farmers will trim these off to encourage more growth of the garlic bulbs.

Garlic scapes are usually available for a short time in early summer.

Scapes taste just like garlic, but is less strong and spicy.

Storage:

Store garlic scapes in the fridge and they will stay fresh for a couple of weeks. Garlic scapes can be stored in the fridge, freezer or dehydrated:

  • Wrap the garlic scapes in a damp paper towel and place in a zipper bag.
  • Scapes can be frozen blanched (for only 30 seconds) or unblanched and stored in an airtight container. Don’t forget to label them.
  • When freezing, lay them out on a cookie sheet in one layer. Freezer for a few hours, then transfer into airtight container or freezer-safe bag. This will prevent them from clumping together.
  • Dehydrating is an awesome option. They can then be incorporated into other spice blends or stored in a jar on their own. Here is the technique I use.

Preparation

To prepare garlic scapes:

  • The entire scape is edible raw or cooked
  • The section at the end that would have held the flower (it has a large bulge) is more tough and is best for longer cooking
  • Slice the scape or leave whole depending on how you are using it.

Uses For Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes can be used in so many dishes:

  • Use it however you normally use garlic
  • Add it raw to salads, stir frys, or anywhere else you would add green onion
  • Add to soups, stew, or sauces
  • Add to rice, pasta or potatoes
  • Cut it into longer sections and use it a skewers
  • Pickled scapes
  • Make garlic scape pesto

Do you love green garlic or garlic scapes? Let us know how you like to prepare them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: