Local Garlic Scape and Bok Choy Saute

Summer holds a fuzzy place in my heart. The warmer months claim the marathon to my favorite moments—my birthday, my wedding anniversary, family visits and the annual Outer Banks trip with my in-laws.

If I had to play favorites, even the summer produce selection takes the win. The farmers markets flood our city and extend their hours, which means more chances to get the freshest, local produce. Enter garlic scapes.

Truthfully, I picked these because they’re leggy, funky vegetables that I’d never heard of. Scapes are essentially the teaser before garlic bulbs are ready. Shooting from the bulbs, they can get feisty and begin curling, so trimming them off completely is necessary to allow the bulb to mature. Atop each scape are seeds snug inside a flower that appears to be a thumb-sized head of broccoli. Eaten raw, the scapes themselves are sharp, quite spicy and bitter reminding me of scallions.

garlic scapes garlic scapes

Bergey’s Breadbasket’s garlic scapes were striking—pointed cuties that looked like they could have a home in one of my hydrangea bouquets. Too bad they’re edible because that means I gotta eat em’. This is one of those effortless recipes that you can sort of toss in the pan, let everything mingle without much attention while you sip your drink of choice after a day’s long work. Serve this as a side dish or maybe add some sausage to bulk it up.

garlic scapes old beach farmers market garlic scapes for sale

garlic scapes at old beach farmers market

Garlic scapes aren’t in season for long, so I suggest you keep an eye out during your next visit to the market! I snagged these at Old Beach. If you can’t find these beauties, scallions will do. You’ll find that the flowering ends of mine wilted—rather quickly, I might add—so it’s best to use them right away. If it takes you a couple days to get to them, just trim the pointy tops off, and no scape will get hurt.

garlic scapes garlic scapes

garlic scapes

Local Garlic Scape and Bok Choy Sauté

Total time: 15–20 minutes

Yield: 2–3 servings

garlic scapes dish


2 tbsp coconut oil

¼ onion, thinly sliced

crushed red pepper to taste

6 garlic scapes

1 bundle of bok choy, tough ends trimmed

a few splashes of shoyu (or soy sauce)

½ tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground ginger

salt and pepper to taste



Prepare garlic scapes. Rinse and pat dry then trim the ends. Cut stems into about 2-inch long pieces. Halve the flowers then set aside.

Heat a skillet on medium-low heat. Add coconut oil to coat the pan. Add onions and allow to cool down for a few minutes. Season with crushed red pepper. Add garlic scapes and flowers and cook for about a minute.

garlic scapes in bowl

Add bok choy and remaining ingredients. Cook until scapes and bok choy are tender for about 8–10 minutes.

garlic scapes with bok choy bok choy

bok choy with garlic scapes

Here's a toasted orzo salad recipe using local mizuna, also from Old Beach Farmers Market.

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