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April 26, 2015, 11:05 am

Ever wondered what to do with garlic scapes, well, for starters, you can use them for sautéing, deep-frying, topping pizzas, and much more.  For those not in the know, garlic scapes are the thin serpentine stalks of hard-neck garlic bulbs. The stalks are usually trimmed-off by farmers as they are believed to reduce the overall size of the garlic bulbs.

Garlic scapes taste sweet, like a chive or scallion with a milder but familiar garlicky zing.

STORE AND PREP SCAPES: Scapes could not be more low-maintenance. They rarely have a speck of dirt on them, and they will keep for weeks, or even months tucked in a bag in your vegetable drawer. Before using them, cut off the stringy, fibrous tip from the flower end, and trim off the very bottom of the stem.

IDEAS FOR COOKING SCAPES: Add scapes to your scrambled eggs – Finely chop a garlic scape; sauté over low heat in butter until slightly tender and scrape out of the pan; scramble two eggs in the pan with more butter if needed; add scapes back, plus a pinch of salt, and a small handful of grated cheese; season with lots of pepper and serve with toast.

Purée the scapes raw and add to hummus, pesto, aioli, and mayonnaise. When scapes are steamed until tender, their resemblance to green beans is striking. Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil or butter.  Cut them into 15cm lengths, and pickle them with spices (mustard seeds, peppercorns, fennel seed, cumin) and a vinegar-salt-sugar mix. 

Just as you would with chives or scallions, finely chop scapes and bake them into savory biscuits, muffins, or scones.  Scapes can be grilled but be careful: they quickly turn from brown and caramelized to burnt and inedible. Trim the ends of the scapes as described above. Toss scapes with olive oil and salt, and grill over high heat -- no more than 4 minutes total. 

Finally, because scapes are milder than garlic, they can be chopped and added raw to any salad or slaw.

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