One could readily think the garlic scape an attempt at botanical whimsy, waving its gracefully curling, flowerless flower stem above its very pungent and earthy origins. Until recently in the U.S., the garlic scape was frequently cut and tossed on the compost heap. These days it has found favor as a spring delicacy in both home and professional kitchens for its faintly garlic and onion flavors. Since spring was so late this year, we will have scapes in June. As long as they get here. In the Asia of its ultimate origins, scapes are welcomed as a brief spring treat, popular in stir-fries, omelets and pestos.
Why is it that humans seem to need to justify anything that tastes good? Well, the added benefits of being healthy and nutritious are not to be sneezed at and the scape makes its contribution like its parent bulb and clove. All parts contain agents for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, hypertension and diabetes. It also contains a unique sulfur compound recognized as an anti-inflammatory. It’s so nice to have good flavor followed by healthy influences.
Long before anyone had an inkling that garlic and their scapes were that good for us, a great puddle of cultures have been using garlic’s pungency to stimulate taste buds. It is the most widely used flavor on the planet. There are numerous recipes for scape pesto, so today’s recipe is a Garlic Scape Frittata. Check the market web site for other tasty ideas.