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The farmers markets are just getting in to full swing in my neck of the woods; one of the farmers I work with recently told me that many people who come in their booth have no idea what to do with a green garlic scape. If you’re not familiar with garlic scapes, or fall in to the group that have seen them but don’t have any idea how to eat them, I urge you to seek them out and give them a try.
A garlic scape is the edible flower shoot that is produced by hard neck varieties of garlic. Farmers will prune these pointy, curled ends off to force the plant to send more energy to the bulb, so we can have lovely garlic cloves in a few weeks. Instead of composting these, why not eat them? They have a mild garlicky flavor but the texture you may find reminiscent of a haricot vert green bean and would make an excellent substitution for green beans.
Scapes are perfect cooked tender crisp, so I decided to treat them like a shishito pepper, with just a little oil, some salt and a lot of heat. They make the perfect side dish or finger food to share with a friend! Excellent served with a splash of coconut aminos and a squeeze of lemon.
- Heat a medium cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium high heat with the fat until it is melted and shimmering.
- Add the garlic scapes to the hot pan, season with salt, then toss to distribute salt and fat.
- Let the scapes sit, undisturbed for 3-4 minutes until they have begun to develop deeply colored blisters in spots. Turn down the heat if necessary, it should be just below smoking.
- Once the scapes are blistered turn off the heat and toss them around once again. The residual heat of the pan will cook them to a perfect crisp.
- Garnish with a splash of coconut aminos or a squeeze of lemon juice when serving.