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The Produce Corner is a column by farmer and Dill Pickle owner Rob Montalbano. Here Rob shares info on some of his favorite in-season veggies including history, cooking ideas and storage tips. Rob lives and works with his wife Christina on their farm in Sandwich, IL.
So what are those crazy, curlicued things anyway? They smell like garlic and they taste like garlic…but that’s no garlic that I’ve ever seen. Those are called garlic scapes and they are absolutely delicious. It’s really the immature flower of the garlic plant and farmers chop these off so the garlic bulbs grow larger. You won’t see them in too many places other than the farmers market and your local Dill Pickle Food Cooperative.
You use them anywhere that you’d use regular garlic. The whole thing is edible. Just chop it up and add to stir fries, toss in your favorite pasta sauce, or grind them up and add to your delicious pesto or hummus recipe. My personal favorite is to toss them on the grill and then add them, whole, atop a salad. They make great finger food!
Store your garlic scapes in a plastic bag or damp towel in the crisper section of your refrigerator. They will last for about a week and, even then, they’ll get a little wilty but they’ll still be good.
Pick them up soon because garlic scape season is a quick one. They are only around for a few weeks and then you’ll have to wait an entire year for them to grow again. See you at the Coop!