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Garlic Scape Vinaigrette Recipe

Garlic scapes combine with other ingredients to make tangy Garlic Scape Vinaigrette, perfect for salads or marinating chicken.

In the late spring and early summer they begin to appear, often bunched together on the tables at farmer’s markets. A short-run vegetable (produce item?), garlic scapes are briefly available before disappearing for a year. It’s not unlike other get-it-while-you-can items there. If you hesitate, you’ll miss them.

For nearly two decades, I have made it my business to never miss them.

Garlic scapes are the curly green tendril tops of young, growing garlic. It’s something farmers have to remove from growing garlic so the garlic bulbs develop properly into the cloves we want. Some sell the garlicky pieces while others toss the scapes in the compost pile (no, really).

Over the last 20-ish years, garlic scapes have grown in popularity. Since they can be used in many of the same ways as garlic cloves, it’s easy to work them into your cooking. The flavor is similar to garlic, but has an earthy quality that you don’t get from cloves alone — and it’s less zesty.

To use them, cut the garlic scapes into tiny pieces. You can slice them into rounds or pulverize them in the food processor. And then use them in dishes like Garlic Scape Carbonara, Garlic Scape Pesto and Garlic Scape Risotto. Scapes can also be pickled or frozen for later use.

Garlic scapes also make a killer Garlic Scape Vinaigrette. This easy-to-make vinaigrette combines garlic scapes, olive oil, red wine vinegar and a few seasonings to make a tangy, garlicky dressing that’s perfect on salads, bowls or for marinating chicken or vegetables. I’ve even tossed a few tables in with sauteeing shrimp to give them a bold, earthy flavor.

All it takes is two garlic scapes and a couple of minutes to whip together. (Didn’t I mention it was easy?)

Now, the only question is what will you drizzle it on first?

Yield: 1/2 pint

Garlic Scape Vinaigrette

Garlic Scape Vinaigrette

Garlic scapes combine with red wine vinegar and other ingredients to make a tangy, garlicky dressing perfect for salads or marinating chicken.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 2 garlic scapes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or 1/2 teaspoon each dried basil and dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine the garlic scape pieces and olive oil in the bowl of a small food processor. Process until emulsified and the garlic scapes are chopped into tiny bits.
  2. Add the red wine vinegar, dried mustard, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Pulse until well combined.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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