Garlic, as we all know, is one of the few crops that are planted during the rainy season. Ahead of this year, one can simply plant a clove, cover it with mulch, and it will be ready for harvest during the dry season.
Your garlic plant will start to send up a stalk from the middle in early to mid-June. The stem, which is known as the garlic scape, is thicker than the leaves.
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If the scape is left on the plant, it will develop into a flower and subsequently produce tiny seeds that you can eat. The best method to do that is using a garlic press!
By removing the scape, you are instructing the plant to focus all of its energy on enlarging the bulb rather than on flowers and seeds.
We advise chopping the scape because we only consume the bulb. A month or two before the garlic bulb, scapes are also edible and can be utilized in the same ways.
HOW TO CUT GARLIC SCAPES
Below are the steps involved in cutting garlic scapes;
1. Early in the summer, watch for the scapes to sprout. Typically, when the temperature warms, garlic plants begin to put up stalks.
Depending on where you reside, this will occur in the Northern Hemisphere between early and mid-June, or a little later.
Your garlic plants could take until well into July to start producing scapes.
The scapes are frequently the same size and color as the leaves, but they are hard and rounded like green onions, making them readily mistaken for leaves.
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2. Observe the stalks for curling. Wait until your garlic plants’ scapes start to twist and loop back on themselves before cutting them off. They will be fully developed at this point and have a strong flavor.
If you allow scapes to grow for a sufficient amount of time, they will start to bloom. When this occurs, the stalks will still be functional.
3. Cut the plant’s scape off at the base. Snip the stem as low as you can with a pair of sharp scissors or gardening shears. Avoid damaging the surrounding leaves or the clove, as both are essential to the plant’s growth.
For the sake of not crushing the stalk, make your cut as precise as you can.
When the escape is taken away, the plant will concentrate more of its energy on the bulb. Larger, more fragrant garlic cloves are the end product.
4. Scapes that have just been picked should be kept in the fridge. Put your scapes in the crisper drawer after loosely wrapping them in a plastic bag or wet paper towel. They should remain fresh for up to three weeks when properly stored without losing their distinctive flavor or crunch.
If you want to use the stalks soon, you can also submerge them in a glass of chilled water (much like you would celery or carrots) and leave them out on the counter. Make care to replace the water every day for maximum freshness.
To cook the scapes more flavorfully, keep them in larger pieces. Cut the stalks into portions that are about the same size as broken green beans, rather than trying to achieve a fine slice of 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm). They’ll be ideal for bringing a rich, savory note to soups, stews, and marinades in this form.
The produce department of health food stores, farmer’s markets, and supermarket stores that specialize in Asian foods are typically where you may buy bundles of scapes.
Sometimes, garlic shoots are used to refer to garlic scapes. If you’re having difficulties finding them, try looking for them using this name.