Garlic scapes are the gorgeous twisty tops of garlic plants as they begin to mature in late spring. They need to be removed from the plant so they don’t take growing power away from the bulbs still developing underground.
They are so good to look at that I actually stick them in vases and use as centerpieces when they are in season, but of course I pull them right out of their decorative function whenever I need garlic flavor, which is what garlic scapes give you. You top and tail them to remove the crown and any woodiness at the bottom of the stem, slice and voila! fresh tasting garlic. When I have had overabundance, I have diced and frozen them to good effect.
This is a recipe that Caroline Fanning, head grower at Restoration Farm, suggested I play around with, as the farm had just such an abundance this year. I added the oil and thyme; You can really experiment with whichever herbs you like. Basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley, savory, and sage all complement the nuttiness of cannellini beans.
You can use this as dip or spread on sandwiches or wraps, to add flavor and creaminess to other ingredients. Great party dip! I served them as an appetizer, using teacups for individual servings of dip with cut vegetable dippers stuck right in!
No-cook Cannellini and Garlic Scape Dip
4-5 garlic scapes, crown removed and stem trimmed of any woodiness at the bottom
2 15.5 oz cans cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
1 generous Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried thyme (4 tsp fresh)
Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with baguette toasts, crackers or fresh vegetable sticks.