- 7 Ways to Use Organic Garlic Flowers and Scapes in the Kitchen
7 Ways to Use Organic Garlic Flowers and Scapes in the Kitchen
Garlic. Some people love it, others not so much. For those that don’t like the strong taste or smell of the clove, there’s an alternative. You might enjoy the stem, or scape, and the bubil, a tightly closed “flower” at the end of the stem.
Garlic flowers are fragile and tender, whereas the rest of the stem is quite sturdy and toughens up if it’s not harvested early in the season. The “flower” really isn’t a flower, it resembles a miniature garlic clove. Just like other plants, such as chives, when the bubil appears, it signals bolting and drains energy from the rest of the plant.
Garlic scapes and their edible flowers can be found at farmers markets, along with asparagus and rhubarb early in the spring or from local farms that sell community supported agricultural shares (CSA’s) to their local community. After scapes are fermented and refrigerated they can be used year round.
Easier to digest then garlic cloves, organic garlic flowers and scapes are packed with Vitamin C and calcium, and are quite versatile. They’re considered a delicacy by many chefs and “foodies” around the world.
In the Freezer
Fresh scapes can be stored in the refrigerator and should be used within a week. Cut off the end that was attached to the bulb and toss out the flowery blossom – it gets stringy as it ages. Blanch or quick boil your organic garlic scapes for a minute, drop them in an ice bath, and then freeze them. Pull them out when you need a fix later in the year.
Use garlic scapes or organic garlic flowers as part of a spicy relish. Chop them into small pieces with cucumber or celery, then add herbs and salt. Throw in a couple tablespoons of whey, close the container tightly, and let it ferment until it bubbles. Add to a sandwichor your favorite hamburger.
Harvest garlic flowers in the bud stage and ferment them in organic cold-pressed sunflower oil with Caldwell’s starter culture for two months. Use it in place of garlic in your basil pesto recipes, or eat it as a fermented garlic pesto on its own. Fermented garlic flowers are delicious when served as a spread or paste on fish or seafood, rice and pasta, and are easy to digest. Check out these great recipes 1 for this unique use of garlic. If preparing this condiment from scratch seems like a hassle, we carry organic garlic flowers here at Wise Choice Market.
Organic garlic flowers are great when served raw in tuna or chicken salads. Just chop up the shoots and scatter them through out the salad. Like raw spring onions, they add a needed bit of zesty crunch.
Garlic scapes are a great addition to almost any stir-fry. They complement the dish with a sweet, succulent taste, but don’t compete with stronger flavored ingredients. The dark green, curly stem adds a touch of color, and the taste makes the stir fry a bit more enticing. Try this recipe for vegetarian Stir-Fry with Garlic Scapes, Carrots, and Shiitake Mushrooms. 2
Blanch or puree garlic scapes and add to vinegar, cream or oil to make your own dressing. It’s best to use just the stem for salad dressings, since they have a longer shelf life then the bubils or miniature cloves.
Fermented food plate
Garlic scapes can be easily pickled whole or chopped up in brine. Twist the long, thin green scapes into a glass jar or other container, pour brine over the top, cover, and let them ferment. If you have more time, dice the scapes into small pieces before you add the brine. Fermented scapes add a nice touch to almost any meal when they’re served as part of a fermented food plate with cured sausages, cheese, and fruit. Check out these tips for Brine-Pickled Garlic Scapes 3.
If there’s no green garlic in the market anymore this year, you can substitute arugula or watercress and a couple of garlic cloves. However, if you really love garlic, this recipe for double-garlic soup 4 by Melissa Clark uses both scapes and green garlic.
Image Credits: Graphic Stock
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