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Mint & Garlic Scape Butter

Garlic scape season is just around the corner, and we couldn't be more excited!

Scape season usually occurs around the beginning of July here in Alberta, and is definitely a highlight of the summer! The scapes exhibit a slightly milder garlicky flavour, but one that just can't be beat. Many gardeners and foodies flock towards the markets in July looking to score a haul of their own!

So, what is a garlic scape??

Maybe you've heard of them or tried them at a restaurant, or if you've been following along my journey on instagram I'm sure you know all about them by now! Garlic scapes are the flowering stalk of a hardneck garlic plant, and are utterly delicious. They grow up out of the centre of the plant, and eventually curl over themselves. Scapes are harvested so that the plant can utilize it's energy into bulb development instead of that of a flower. Technically it isn't a true flower, it is actually a cluster of tiny garlic bulbils (or garlic nuggets as I like to call them). Since our main goal is to grow sizeable garlic bulbs, we snap the scapes off and enjoy the bounty of nature's ultimate bonus crop!

Where can I find garlic scapes??

While not a common veggie in the grocery store, scapes are plentiful if you know where to look! Shop at your local farmers markets to find fresh scapes, connect with a local garlic grower, or consider growing your own (next year!).

Not sure what to do them??

The first thing anybody asks after receiving garlic scapes is, "how do I use them?" Believe me, you're not alone if you are wondering this, but I promise they are easy to use and will soon become something you look forward to every summer!

Scapes are a great substitution for fresh garlic if you live somewhere like Alberta and find there aren't many fresh bulbs available at this time of year. They’re a great way to eat seasonally! Chop them up and throw the scapes into soups or saute them in a pan with fresh vegetables. Grilled scapes will be a delicacy to eat alongside a steak at your next BBQ, or try your hand at a garlic scape pesto!

This season I am so excited to be able to share a recipe from my upcoming book, The Garlic Companion. It has an entire chapter dedicated to recipes that use garlic scapes and I hope it will become your go-to garlic book!

I’m a firm believer that certain recipes are so nostalgic that they have the uncanny ability to transport you back in time. For me, this recipe triggers many memories of foraging for wild mint with my grandmother. Wild mint grows along the banks of the Battle River on our farm, and is a much stronger version than that of it's garden cousins. While you can use any type of mint that is readily available to you, I always gravitate towards the wild variety because of it's bold flavour.

Here’s a great recipe to get you started: Mint and Garlic Scape Butter!

The Garlic Companion is available for preorder wherever books are sold, and will be released on September 17!

Click here if you are interested in ordering your own copy. Thank you so much!

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