The Great Scapes
For garlic lovers, scapes—the delicate, green, edible tendrils that emerge from the ground before things come to, er, a head—are the true harbingers of summer.
The season for scapes is short. Once scapes are cut in order to concentrate nutrient delivery to the garlic bulb, there’s a scant couple of weeks or so before they’re gone. But thanks to the nose-to-tail—or in this case, root-toblossom— movement, they’re everywhere.
“Scapes have that flavor that you’ve just been waiting for,” says Mark Baerwolf, farm manager and nurturer of more than 1,000 garlic plants for Zingerman’s Cornman Farms in Dexter, Michigan; he’s also chef at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor. “It’s the whole freshness, green-chlorophyll, early-summer thing,” he says. “Garlic flavor’s there, but the aroma’s not as intense and the taste is more delicate. It doesn’t overpower on your palate.”
Pair sautéed scapes with mild, young cheeses like:
- Fresh chèvre
- Beemster Graskaas
- Juustoleipa (pan-fried with Gingras Extra-Old Cider Vinegar)
- Canal Junction Charloe
Written by Robin Watson
Photography by Max Sudakov/Shutterstock Images