However, now the garlic we find at the grocery store is coming from China and they are bleached with acid to make them white and not to grow offshoots. So I began to grow my own garlic. In Canada we mostly grow hardnecked varieties of garlic as they are the most hardy of the garlic plants. Hardnecked varieties produce scapes. Scapes are the stems that will eventually hold the garlic flower. In order for the garlic bulbs to grow larger underground you snip off the scapes in late Spring. The energy of the plant is then focused on the bulb rather than the flower.
When they're young and tender, they look like curly green stalks with tightly closed buds on top. Just snip them off with a pair of scissors and remove the bud before using.
This is a wonderful addition to our crisper, they are a vegetable, aromatic, and even an herb all in one. You can make Pesto from scapes but for my first attempt I made Hummus. To make Hummus you will need:
1 large can of chickpeas with 1/4 cup liquid from can set aside
Rinse the chickpeas and put into your food processor.
Add to this the juice from one lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 Scapes (less if you want less garlic taste or more if you LOVE the garlic flavour)
1 Tablespoon Tahini (I've made it before without it but I like the flavour it adds)
Whiz in the processor adding a little of the set aside liquid from the chickpeas until it is smooth or to the consistency you prefer. Serve as a dip for crackers, carrot sticks or cucumber chunks.