What exactly is this aromatic veggie?

Found this at the farmers market today, appears to be some sort of green onion/garlic. It sorta reminds me of both, or a cross between them. Smells sweet, fresh, and pungent.

Can anyone tell me more specific info, such as a name or exact type? Also looking for suggestions for how I might best use it, or how to treat it differently than regular green onions.

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spuntino
spuntino April 9, 2011

I think those are garlic scapes -- feel free to correct me if i'm wrong!

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sarah k.
sarah k. April 9, 2011

Yes, those are scapes. I grew garlic last year and the year before. The blossom comes up through the middle of the stand of leaves, which look like tall grass. The leaves are flat, but the blossom stalk is round, like in the second photo. Garlic growers cut off the blossom in order to encourage growth of the bulb, since the plant would direct more energy to the blossom if it were allowed to grow and open, and less to growth of the garlic. The scapes grow straight up, then, over a period of a couple of days, the curl over, like in the first photo. That's when you know it's time to cut them. Any longer and they would begin to bloom.

Garlic scapes can be used like aromatics, or can be highlighted on their own, sauteed in butter, lightly roasted, etc. I use them as if they were fragrant green beans, sliced on the diagonal in about 2 inch lengths. They cook up pretty quickly!

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boulangere
boulangere April 9, 2011

Thank you, sarah k! Great to know; I'll tend my garlic much more carefully from now on.

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sarah k.
sarah k. April 9, 2011

Any time, boulangere, I have to sing for my supper somehow!

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boulangere
boulangere April 9, 2011

I ran out of time to get garlic planted last fall - well, the weather used it up for me with snow and extreme cold in October, of all the nerve. Your explanation is lovely and makes perfect sense. So next spring, I expect to be putting your information on both tending and cooking to very good use. Thank you so much!

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sarah k.
sarah k. April 9, 2011

I missed out this year, too. I just couldn't get myself to clean out the beds from the tomato forest that I grew last summer. Garlic can survive cold (the right varieties, of course), as long as you insulate them sufficiently. If you cover them with grass clippings and straw, they'll do just fine over the winter, then you uncover them when it warms up. The Seed Saver's Exchange website has great info on tending garlic, and it's so worth it to have your own! Also, you get to brag to the neighbors about your homegrown garlic! http://www.seedsavers.org/garlic_guide.htm

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cookbookchick
cookbookchick April 10, 2011

Try this garlic scape pesto recipe from Dorie Greenspan. Fabulous! -- and it freezes well: http://www.doriegreenspan.com/2009/06/i-seem-to-be-on.html

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ChefJune
ChefJune April 10, 2011

Love me some Garlic Scapes! Saute some up in butter with butterflied Wild Gulf Shrimp and use it to top some fresh spinach fettuccine. YUM!

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