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Summer Escapes with Garlic Scapes.

So what is a scape?

I recently discovered scapes in the June 18th issue of The New York Times “Dining In” section. Little did I know that Betsey Wittick from Laughing Crow Farms had been selling them on Bainbridge for about six years.  “A friend of mine from San Francisco suggested that I start selling them since they were popular in the Bay Area. We only have them for another couple of weeks,” she continued, “there’s sort of a window when they’re in their prime and then they get woody. I always try to be conscientious to make sure that they are still tender before I harvest them by feeling the stems.”

So what exactly is a scape and why the name I wondered? My husband jokingly guessed that the name scape comes from Escape, since the tops escape from the garlic bulb.  Actually scapes are flowering stems, usually leafless, rising from the crown or roots of a plant. From Merriam-Webster: Etymology: Latin scapus shaft of a column, stalk.  If you haven’t seen them, garlic scapes look like smooth Chinese long green beans or long tulip stems and they are a delicacy once you cook them.
“I don’t like to eat them raw, raw they can have a little bit of a bite,” says Betsey. I cut them in one-inch lengths and sauté them in the a little peanut or olive oil for about 20 to 25 minutes until they get brown.” Betsey grows 22 varieties of garlic since starting her farm about 18 years ago. Garlic Scapes

To speed up the cooking process I experimented by putting them in the microwave for a couple of minutes and then sautéing them rapidly in white truffle oil. 

Betsey’s scapes are sold, while they last, at the Bainbridge Island Ferry Farm Stand on Wednesday afternoons 5 - 6:15 pm and at the Saturday Market. 9 am -1 pm.

Betsey Wittick
Laughing Crow Farms
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Stephanie’s articles have appeared in the Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Seattle Times, San Diego Union Tribune and more.
Visit her at www.whitedogpress.net

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