Chard Frittata with Garlic Sauce

rainbow chard, bunchced, on display

Rainbow chard stalks stay vibrant even after you cook them!

1small onion, chopped
1 bunch chard, stems and leaves separated and chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
6 eggs, whisked
Cheese for topping
Ground black pepper

In a skillet, saute onion and chard stems with basil until tender. Cover and stir occasionally. Add chard leaves. Pack it in and replace lid. When shrunk add scrambled eggs, stir quickly and press evenly in pan. Cover and turn heat down very low. Top with cheese and sprinkle with pepper. Cut with pie server when egg is cooked and top with sauce.

1 cup yogurt
3 garlic scapes, finely chopped, or 6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup cream (optional)

Mix together and serve generously on chard frittata with fresh tomato.

We thank Teri Crockett of Nash’s Farm Store for this recipe.

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What to Do with Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes

Curlicues of bunched garlic scapes look whimsical, but scapes are seriously tasty.

Do you love garlic but have run out of last season’s garlic cloves? Not to worry—garlic scapes are here! Scapes are the tall flowering stalk of the garlic plant. They have a mild garlic flavor and can be used to add garlicky goodness to so many dishes. Here are several tasty suggestions.

Garlic Scape Pesto
—Blend with pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper. Add basil, if you want.

Grilled or Roasted—Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper, and grill for 2 minutes on each side.

Hummus—Swap scapes for garlic cloves. Great in a lemony, tahini-free hummus.

Compound Butter—Add some lemon and fresh thyme.

Pizza—Delicious on a white grilled pizza with caramelized onions.

Stir-fry—They lose some bite when sautéed, so use 3-4 times as much.

Salads—Blanch them first, like you would green beans.

Soup—Add to soup towards the end to get the best flavor from the scapes.

Pickled—Add to your favorite pickle recipe, or just pickle the scapes themselves in vinegar, salt and dill.

Sautéed—Great with shrimp.

Quesadillas—Grill them first and add lots of cheese!

Omelets—Add cut-up scapes, arugula and a little basil along with cheese.

Pork Burgers—Mix with Nash’s Italian sausage or ground pork, and a little rosemary. OMG!!

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Garlic Scape Aioli

A handful of garlic scapes in the field

Add mild garlic flavor to your aioli with these funky garlic scapes.

2 bunches Nash’s garlic scapes, cleaned and roasted
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Place garlic scapes on cookie sheet and roast them for 15 minutes at 375 degrees with salt and a little bit of oil. Cool and chop them and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix in a blender until everything is well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Use as your favorite summer sandwich spread or dip for grilled veggies.

We thank Karolina Tracz for this recipe.

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Triticale Berries with Basil Oil and Seasonal Greens Stir Fry

Triticale Berries
Rinse berries well and soak overnight. Drain and simmer in water for 1 hour.


Imagine the aroma in our basil greenhouses — and imagine that same lovely scent in your own kitchen.

Basil Oil
1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup olive oil

Blanch basil in boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat basil dry with paper towels. Transfer to blender, add oil and puree until smooth. Transfer to small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. Can be made up to 3 days ahead. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

Seasonal greens
1 bunch garlic scapes
1 bunch chopped rainbow chard
1 bunch spinach
1 bunch baby dill
1 1/2 pounds fava beans, husked and blanched
2 tablespoons oil
Splash apple cider vinegar or other vinegar

In a medium skillet, saute garlic scapes and 1 cup cooked triticale berries in 2 tablespoons oil. Once berries start to turn golden brown, add fava beans, rainbow chard, baby dill and spinach. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the greens cook down, add a splash of vinegar. Take off stove, plate up, and drizzle with basil oil.

For a more meaty option, serve with Nash’s spicy Italian sausage, made into patties and pan fried. Makes a great sweet and spicy combo!

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Fava Bean Pesto on Charred Romaine Salad

fava beans

Did you know that you could grill lettuce? Or that you could make pesto from fava beans? Try doing both with this tasty recipe.

1 cup fava beans, removed from pods and blanched
1 bunch garlic scapes, roasted
4 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon juice to taste (optional)
Salt to taste
1 head romaine lettuce

Preheat oven to 375. Place garlic scapes on a cookie sheet with a little bit of oil and roast for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, place all ingredients except romaine in a food processor and pulse till combined. Set aside.

Cut romaine head into 4 wedges. Drizzle the cut sides of the wedges with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the romaine over a hot fire, cut side down, until charred in spots, about 20 seconds. Turn the romaine over and grill for 20 seconds longer. Transfer the wedges to a platter, cut side up, and drizzle the fava bean pesto over them.

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Sautéed Garlic Scapes

A handful of garlic scapes in the field

These wildly curly veggies are the flowering stems of garlic plants.

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If you grow your own garlic or have a good farmer’s market, then you can enjoy a new kind of vegetable — garlic scapes. The scapes are the flower stems that garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature. Growers often remove the scapes to push the plant’s energy toward bigger bulbs, and when harvested while they are young and tender, the scapes are delicious.

My first culinary encounter with garlic scapes occurred in a tiny Istrian village on the coast of Slovenia. The people in that part of the country speak Italian and have preserved food ways dating from ancient times. The dish they served me was made by sautéing the chopped scapes in olive oil, then pouring a beaten egg mixture over them, similar to a frittata. The cakelike omelet was then served with a liberal garnish of chopped fresh herbs and a glass of local wine, of course. How could anything so simple be so incredibly delicious?

In most parts of the world, people make use of many things we tend to throw away. In the case of garlic, the unopened flower heads are considered a delicacy — even the leaves are used for making soup stocks. Indeed, no part of the plant is wasted. American produce growers, especially those who cultivate garlic, have begun to look at these traditional foods as a way not only to increase the profitability of their garlic crop, but also to introduce consumers to tasty new approaches to garlic cookery. The secret to scape cookery is to pick them early — the earlier the better. I do this when they are just beginning to emerge between the leaves; at that point, they are so tender you can eat them raw. The best time of day to harvest scapes is during the afternoon when the sun is hot. That way, the wound you create by cutting off the scapes will dry quicker and heal better. If you harvest early in the morning, the garlic plant may weep its sap for several hours, which is not good for the plant.

There is a lot of discussion among garlic growers about the exact best time to pick scapes — what “early” means. Part of this discussion is due to the fact that there are different varieties of garlic, and some produce large scapes while others produce very small ones. In spite of seed catalog claims, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified only 10 major garlic cultivars based on genetic analysis of the 400 garlics in its collection. This huge duplication narrows the field of discussion considerably, and of those 10, probably the best varieties for scapes are ‘Chesnok’ and ‘Purple Italian Easy Peel.’ Of course, everyone has personal preferences because different garlics grow better in some parts of the country than in others. As a rule, stick with the varieties that do best in your particular area. No matter what variety you grow, harvest the scapes before they start to curl. If the stems of the scape are starting their curls, you still can cook them if you trim off the base of the stems much the same way you would trim off the tough ends of asparagus. But, you also should trim off the tips of the garlic flower heads, especially if you intend to sauté or stir-fry them. (The long tips of the flower heads scorch easily.)

Garlic cooks at 120 degrees, so it is not necessary to use very high heat except in the initial stages of sautéing; it’s important to remember that the scapes are far more delicate than the bulbs. But cooking them is a delicious way to use something that otherwise would go wasted, and visually, you can create some attractive dishes that are especially nice as starter courses or hors d’oeuvres.

After my stint in Slovenia, I began collecting recipes for scapes and discovered that in the United States at least, the most common recipes to turn up on the Internet were for pickling. Pickled garlic scapes are fine, but I think a sauté that I found in Cyprus showcases the scapes, taking advantage of both their subtle flavor, as well as their interesting shape (see recipe below). Best of all, it is a dish that improves by standing overnight so that the flavors can meld and mellow. I prefer to use duck fat to create the sauce because it is one of the most wonderful cooking mediums for amplifying flavors, but you may want to use olive oil instead. Olive oil does not create quite as thick a sauce but it gives you a vegan option.

Choose scapes that are very young and tender, taking care to trim off the bottoms of the stems and the tips of the flower heads. The recipe that follows is best when made the day before serving and then refrigerated. Let it stand at room temperature before serving.

garlic scapes, bunched

Make garlic scapes into yummy appetizers, as in this recipe, or sautee them into other veggie dishes for a lovely garlic flavor.

Sautéed Garlic Scapes

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
8 ounces young garlic scapes, trimmed
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or to taste
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 cup grilled haloumi cheese, cut into very small dice (see note below)

Heat the oil in a broad sauté pan and add sugar. Stir to caramelize the sugar for about 2 to 3 minutes and add the scapes. Cover and sauté over a medium-high heat for no more than 3 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan to prevent the scapes from scorching. After 3 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes and wine. Stir the pan, then cover and reduce the heat to low; continue cooking 5 to 6 minutes, or until the scapes are tender but not soft. Season, then add the parsley and haloumi, and serve at room temperature.

Serves 6 to 8 as hors d’oeuvres.

Note: Haloumi cheese is a goat and/or sheep cheese made in Cyprus and now widely available in the United States. It can be sliced and grilled, or fried in a skillet, and it doesn’t melt. Haloumi’s salty flavor is a great addition to this recipe, but other salty cheeses such as cheddar or aged chevre can be substituted.

We thank food historian William Woys Weaver for this article, which was originally published in He is a contributing editor to Gourmet magazine and a professor of culinary arts at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

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Garlic Scape/Kale Pizza

A handful of garlic scapes in the field

Mmmmm, garlic scapes…

1 large pizza dough (see recipe below)
1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
Grated Mozzarella cheese
1 bunch garlic scapes, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 large leaves of kale, rinsed and dried, de-ribbed, cut into small pieces
Handful of fresh basil

Preheat a grill on high for 5 minutes. In the meantime roll out the dough so that it will fit onto the grill. Cover one side of the pizza with olive oil and place that side down on the grill. Lower the heat to medium and let grill for about 4 minutes. Check the pizza after two minutes to poke any air bubbles.

Check the underside of the pizza after 4 minutes. It should lift off easily and be lightly charred. Slide the dough off of the grill onto a cutting board.  Top the cooked side with the tomato sauce then the fresh basil. Sprinkle some mozzarella over the sauce. Top with the kale and garlic scapes. Slide the pizza back onto the grill and grill for about 6 minutes or until the bottom side is cooked.

Classic Pizza Dough
Makes 2 ten-inch crusts
1 cup warm water (a bit warmer than body temperature)
2 teaspoons yeast (dry)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups Nash’s soft white flour and 1 cup Nash’s hard red flour

Put the water in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and sugar, stir and let stand until foamy (5-10 minutes). Add oil, herbs, salt, and 1 cup of the flour and mix well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 a cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. If it becomes too difficult to mix with a spoon, use your hands.

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands until all the flour is incorporated. Lightly coat the dough with oil, return to the unclean bowl, and cover the bowl with a damp towel. Let it sit in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk (1 – 1 1/2 hours). Pinch the dough and divide it into 2 pieces. Form each dough into a ball and let it sit on the counter for 5 minutes. Roll each dough into 10 inch circles. If you prefer a thinner pizza, roll out to 12 inches.

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Garlic Scape Vinegar

A handful of garlic scapes in the field

Garlic scapes form curly Q’s of mild garlicky goodness!

Garlic scapes are the “flower stalks” of hardneck garlic plants, although they do not produce flowers. These stalks start to appear a month or so after the first leaves. They are usually cut off of the plant, since leaving them on only diverts the plants strength away from forming a plump bulb. If left on, they eventually form small bulbils that can be planted to grow more garlic, but it takes 2–3 years for them to form large bulbs. Many gardeners simply toss their scapes in the compost, but garlic scapes are both edible and delicious, as are the bulbils.Their flavor is milder, but still distinctly garlic. I brush them with olive oil and put them under the broiler until golden. Keep an eye on them, because they broil very quickly. Then they can be pureed and spread on crackers, or added to fava bean hummus. Here’s another great recipe for homemade garlic-flavored vinegar.

1-2 whole garlic scapes, about 12″ in length
Note: Add more garlic scapes for more flavor
1 cup light vinegar, like white wine or rice vinegar
Glass container with non-metal cap or cover

Sterilize bottle and cap, in boiling water or dishwasher. Dry thoroughly.

Wash garlic scapes and allow to dry. Cut into lengths so that the scape can be completely submerged. Do not allow any scape to be exposed.

Roll the scapes gently with a rolling pin, to release more flavor.

Place the scape pieces in the sterilized container and cover completely with vinegar. Cover with lid, cap or cork.

Store in the refrigerator, or other cool, dark place. Check the level of the vinegar in 24 hours and add more if the level has dropped at all.

Soak for 2 weeks. Take out original scape pieces (chopsticks work!), and replace with fresh ones for decoration if you want. Will keep for 2-4 months.

Watch for changes in color, smell, or cloudiness in the bottle and discard if there is a question. Store in the fridge.

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Fava Bean Hummus

fava beans

In this hummus variation, fava beans take center stage to make a tasty spread or veggie dip.

1 cup fava beans (removed from pods and blanched and peeled)
1 bunch garlic scapes, roasted
4 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon juice to taste (optional)
Salt to taste
Basil to taste (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place garlic scapes on a cookie sheet with a little bit of oil and roast for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool down.

Once scapes are cool, place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse till combined. If you use a blender, you may need more oil to make the consistency smooth. You can also add a sprig or two of basil as you blend for extra flavor.

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