Last night I went out and cut the curly tips off some of the garlic plants. Chopped up or grilled, these curly ends (called scapes), add a wonderfully subtle garlicky flavour to all kinds of dishes.
By cutting off the scapes, you prevent the seed head from forming, which in turn allows the garlic bulb, growing underground, to get bigger. We harvest scapes from about 3/4 of the garlic patch, leaving some to form seeds which we can then use another year.
Burgers were on the menu last night. I just added the chopped scapes to the burger patties for extra taste.
Cheeseburgers with Scapes
For each pound of locally farmed, lean ground hamburger, add one beaten egg, a handful of cracker crumbs or oats (I've even used cereal in a pinch), finely chopped scapes, and seasoning to taste (I use pepper, sometimes an herb or two). Form into patties and grill over medium-high heat. Top with old cheddar for the last couple of minutes of grilling, until melted. Serve with garden-fresh salad.