What they are: Those swirly, curly green stalks with tightly closed buds on top that you are seeing farmer’s markets or in your CSA box right about now — those are garlic scapes. They are the tops of the growing garlic plants. Farmers and gardeners harvest them at this time of year so that they won’t drain nutrients from the garlic bulbs that will be dug up in a couple of months, plump and glorious and ready for drying. The scapes themselves are sweet and herbal and redolent with garlicky flavors.
What to do with them: Garlic scapes can be can be used wherever you would use garlic. Try them roasted, grilled or sauteed in butter. Thinly shaved and eaten raw in a salad. Blitz them with olive oil and parmesan for a fragrant pesto. Also excellent pickled.