Garlic scapes are the thin, green shoots that grow out of the hardneck garlic plant and are in season for a short time from late spring to early summer. If you find them, grab some, as they're sought after and might not be available for long. If you've never had scapes, this is a great and easy recipe to put them to good use. A tangy dressing flavored with pungent scapes, mustard, and green onions gets a touch of honey, simple seasonings, and olive oil to make a silky mixture that goes well on pretty much anything and everything you want to use it on, not just salad. Great on roasted potatoes or vegetables, the dressing can be used to flavor a cold pasta salad, as a spread on a sandwich, or as a side sauce for steak, grilled chicken, or fish. Add the ingredients to the blender, mix, and serve!
The hardeneck garlic plant is the most common garlic variety found in North America, so chances are you will run into some of these thin curvy greens any time you visit a farmer's market. Similar in aspect to long green beans, scapes are the stems and buds of the plant and are harvested first. The bulb is harvested a few weeks later because once the scapes are gone, the plant can concentrate its energy on growing the bulb instead of growing the flowers that could potentially stem from the scapes. Scapes have a light garlic flavor, so don't be afraid of using them as they're not as strong as garlic cloves. Once you buy scapes, wash, pat dry, and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks, but when used straight away their flavor is unbeatable.
If you have many scapes at hand, make some dressing, but also sautee them in olive oil for a quick side vegetable dish and add them to omelets, stews, or stir-fries. Use them as tasty garnishes for soups, mashed potatoes, or roasted meats, or mix them with cream cheese and seasonings to make a wonderful dip for naan or pitas. The dressing can be adjusted to your liking, with more or less honey, or perhaps a touch of heavy cream or full-fat yogurt. Add the flesh of a whole avocado for a creamy dairy-free dressing that's great for fish or shrimp tacos. However you use scapes, don't miss out on this spring offering, as you might need to wait a full year to find them again.
Gather the ingredients.
In a blender, combine the garlic scapes, onions, honey, mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
With the blender on low, slowly add the olive oil until well blended.
How to Store
The garlic scape dressing should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator; it will last up to one week. Make sure to shake the dressing well before using.
- Creamy: Add some plain yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, or feta cheese.
- Green Goddess: Add 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, 1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste, and either 1 cup mayonnaise or 1/2 of ripe avocado.
- Herby: Add a handful of fresh herbs, such as parsley or tarragon.