All garlic produces a stalk but the hard neck garlic produces a stalk that curls and that is why they are called scapes. They start to curl as they get longer while growing. Some growers like to snap them off the stem once they curl and before they get too long and fibrous. Other growers like to cut them off. There is a bulb at the end of the stalk and you don't use these in your cooking I am told. If you were growing your own garlic as seed, you would leave them on as this bulb can be planted as seed. I have read that it takes a few years of planting to get a big enough bulb to plant to produce a large garlic bulb for eating. There is a short time period to remove the scapes for eating. You don't want the scapes to get too long as you want the scapes to be tender for use in cooking.
With company coming over for supper and knowing they love garlic bread, I decided to make my own garlic herb butter using fresh garlic scapes and herbs from the garden. If you don't have garlic scapes, you can use fresh minced garlic. For bread, I wanted a baguette but the store I went to only made baguette rolls that day. I bought them and they were crusty and chewy which works well for toasting in the oven. The toasted garlic herb bread was inhaled and immensely enjoyed by all.
|Garlic scape used to make garlic herb butter.|
|Sliced rolls ready for toasting.|
|Toasted and ready to be eaten with a salad.|
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
2 garlic scapes, chopped or one large garlic glove minced
1 small sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped
1 small sprig of fresh thyme. chopped
2 shoots of fresh dill, chopped
Soften the butter in a medium size bowl. Add the chopped fresh herbs to the butter and using a fork, thoroughly mix the herbs with the butter. Depending on how strong you want the butter, you may need to add more garlic or herbs.
Spread the butter on the cut baguettes and toast in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. You can also toast thinly sliced pieces of baguettes in a toaster and then butter them after toasting.