Garlic Scape Tapenade


Garlic scapes look like a cross between chives and scallions, but they curl as they grow. The scape is actually a stem which farmers cut off so the plants energy will go to growing a bigger garlic bulb rather than a garlic seed head.  Garlic scapes taste like garlic, but are milder than the garlic clove.  They have a broad spectrum of uses including soups, salads, and additions to many recipes.

Garlic scapes are only in season during late spring, so buy them while they are still available.  Scapes will keep in the refrigerator for up to three weeks; for longer storage, mince and freeze. Try them in the following recipe, or experiment on your own by substituting for garlic in recipes.

Garlic Scape Tapenade

1/3-1/2 pound garlic scapes* (about 12 scapes)

½ cup olive oil

4 ounces (2/3 cup) green olives

¼ cup roasted red pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Cut off and discard the bulb at the top of the stalk.  Cut scapes into 2 inch sections.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor and chop finely.  Do not puree.  Serve as an appetizer or snack on vegetable sticks, crackers or slices of toasted French bread.  Can also be used as a sandwich spread.  Makes about 1 ½ cups, 12 servings.

Nutrition per serving (2 tablespoons): 100 calories, 10 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 85 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 20% Vitamin C.

This market recipe appears courtesy of Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension and The Saratogian. Ingredients marked with an asterisk (*) are available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.

For information about food and nutrition, contact Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 885-8995 or email