One of the best things about growing your own garlic, (aside from the obvious -- a delicious harvest of beautiful heads of garlic right from your own garden) is getting a crop of garlic scapes out of the deal. Garlic scapes are the flowering stalks of hardneck varieties of garlic. In late spring to early summer, in addition to the strappy green foliage, you'll start to see a round stem growing up from the bulb. It will get around two feet tall, form a bud, and start to curl over. Once the scape starts curling, it's time to harvest!
To harvest garlic scapes, just cut them off the plant 6 to 10 inches below the forming flower bud. They have a delicious, sweet, mild garlicky flavor that works very well in many dishes. If you're wondering what to do with all of this garlicky goodness, here are a few ideas. Bon appétit!
I also use garlic scapes on pizza, and in omelets and frittatas. Once you harvest your garlic scapes, you can keep them in a bag in the crisper for a few days, but the sooner you use them, the better. Have you tried garlic scapes?