Garlic scapes

Garlic scapes 13554_StaatsFor the past few years our vegetable garden bed has included garlic.  So very easy to grow, but the highlight to me is at this time of year, about a month prior to harvest.  Certain varieties of garlic develop scapes – a bulb or flower near the top of a characteristic curled stem.  They appear graceful as they twist and curve on the long stems high above the ground.  Even better is that they are delicious and provide a “preview of coming attractions” prior to the actual bulb harvest.  We particularly enjoy them sauteed, lending a subtle garlic flavor to whatever they are served with.

Garlic harvest

We’re trying some new things in our vegetable garden this year, one of which is garlic.  Last November we planted a variety of different bulbs, covered them, and waited for the spring to see if they survived the winter.  They shot up through the ground and just this weekend we were able to begin a harvest of a couple of the earlier types.  It was a treat to dig up the bulbs from the ground and see their size and color.  This particular variety is called Xian and has these beautiful reddish-purple stripes to it.  They’ll now hang to dry, and soon I’ll be able to report on their taste.  But if their flavor is as good as their photo-worthiness we should be in great shape!