Garlic and Onion Scapes

Scapes are a surprise treasure from the garden.

Last Spring a girlfriend excitedly posted on Facebook that it was garlic scape season in Vermont. She was making pesto.

A dozen questions popped into my head including, “What the heck is a scape?”

So, I hit the Internet, and it turns out I’d been missing a golden opportunity in my garden. The flower shoots for garlic (and onions) are called scapes and they are edible.

They are a mild, yet wonderfully flavored, predecessor to the garlic bulb I’ll harvest later.

And, by clipping the scapes off, I am actually transferring those flower producing resources into a bigger, better garlic or onion bulb.

I love learning new things.

My first harvest yielded a few scapes from my elephant garlic and a cluster of onion scapes. We were barbecuing so I got out the cast iron skillet and tossed in:

  • a splash of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups brussel sprouts, halved
  • 4 slices, pre-cooked bacon chopped
  • 3 garlic and 6 onion scapes, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning, to taste

We put the skillet on the grill next to the steaks and stirred occasionally until the steaks were done.


Now I’m just as excited as my friend for “scape season.” Hopefully the rest of my garlic scapes will pop up around the same time so I have enough for some pesto.

Tip: If you need to hold onto your scapes for a few days, just wrap the cut ends with a damp paper towel and store in the refrigerator.