The Breakfast Challenge – Scrambled Eggs With Garlic Scapes

by Linda on November 11, 2011

If you don’t grow them, you probably don’t know garlic scapes.  They’re the best bit of the garlic plant, and since so much of our garlic is imported from China, a bit that is not often seen in shops or markets.  Around this time of year, garlic sends up a central flower stalk with a head that is filled with tiny bulbils of mild, sweet garlicness.  The whole stalk is edible, hard to describe but a bit like garlicky asparagus in flavour maybe? Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial has a recipe for pistou, which I’m planning to try with the next ones I pick.  This lot went straight into scrambled eggs for breakfast.

The Recipe:

Good wholemeal toast on.

A little olive oil or butter in a heavy pan on a medium (not too high)  heat.

Chop the scapes, head and all, fairly fine and add to the olive oil.

Chop and add any other vegetables. To my taste, scapes are perfect with broccoli, pea shoots, spinach, tomatoes.

Use a fork to lightly beat an egg or two with a little plain yoghurt and some salt and pepper.  (The trick with scrambled eggs is not to over-beat the eggs).

The second trick with scrambled eggs is just enough and not too much scrambling (or they go watery).

And the third trick is just enough and not too much cooking.

Let them cook for a minute, then as they start to set but before they start to brown, give them a little stir, then leave again, stir, turn out onto the toast.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial November 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Wow, homegrown scapes, Linda! That’s impressive – and they’re sooo delicious. Thanks for the linky. I’m going to try some of the ones I have left in scrambled eggs too!

Hazel November 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm

ooo yummy! I am not going to let my garlic go to flower…but a neighbour has some ‘elephant’ garlic or maybe ‘russian’ garlic that he just lets go to seed every year…he isn’t interested in in…I am off for a walk to see what I can forage.

Linda November 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Hi Hazel, with most varieties of garlic, you get both. It sends up a scape that you should cut off to convince it to put all its energy into maturing those cloves just a little bit more. But if you can forage some as well….

Toni in TN November 13, 2011 at 4:38 am

After reading the comments I’m really confused! If I cut the scapes does that mean no garlic bulbs? And what’s this about a flower? We planted garlic for the first time just two weeks ago. We are in the USA. Help!!

Linda November 13, 2011 at 8:58 am

Hi Toni, you won’t have to think about it for six months or so, but then, when the garlic is full grown, it is likely to put up a single stem from the middle of the leaves with a little pod on top. It looks like a flower head but it’s actually not a flower – it’s filled with little soft garlic bulbils. You can actually plant them and they will grow into garlic corms – just that it takes a few years to get them up to a decent size so it’s more productive to plant bulbs. The conventional advice is to cut it off so as to convince the plant to put all its energy into the garlic bulbs. There is some debate about whether it actually matters – some people say you get just as high a yield of bulbs anyway. But there is a good reason to cut them off quite apart from increasing the garlic yield – the scapes themselves are delicious. A few weeks later, when the plant starts to die off, you can pull it and harvest the garlic as well.

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