This week you have garlic scapes in your veg box. These are very much considered a delicacy in foody circles. So what are they?
Before garlic bulbs fully mature and are ready to be harvested, they throw out long, curly flower heads – these are called scapes. Left to their own devices, garlic scapes would eventually produce tiny bulbs of their own, called bulbils. But because these divert food and energy away from the star attraction (i.e. the garlic bulbs themselves), market gardeners snip the scapes off, enabling the garlic bulb to increase in size by up to 50%.
These tender scape stalks are delicious and comparable in texture to young asparagus, with a delicate hint of garlic flavour. Simply griddle or sauté the stems with salt and pepper or steam as you would green beans and serve with a squeeze of lemon and knob of butter. Alternatively try making them into a pesto or cooking on a pizza. The season is short so enjoy them while you can.