Sensational Garlic Scapes
When garlic sends up its snaking scapes in late May, I’m ready to harvest every curl. I try to catch them just as the blossom tip makes a full circle, because they are big but still tender then. Then I remove the tough blossom ends before using the scapes as an onion/garlic substitute in everything from omelets to etoufee. Garlic scapes will store in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but I blanch and freeze my extras. They’re one of the first frozen garden goodies to disappear, usually before Christmas.
Like a lot of other gardeners, I've found that 'Music', a hardneck porcelain type, is a dependable producer of big, tender scapes and large, juicy bulbs. We also like ‘Spanish Roja’ (a rocambole) and an almost miniature strain called ‘Korean Red’. Although the bulbs (and plants) of 'Korean Red' are small, they are fabulous keepers, still plump and juicy in April.
It’s important to give a garlic strains at least a couple of years to prove themselves, because garlic varieties will fine tune their growing rhythm to better adapt to the climate. For good tips on how to grow garlic in your climate, see Plant Now for Great Garlic in the Mother Earth News archives.