Whether it’s spread over toasted artisan bread or placed on top of a grilled steak to get melty and aromatic, Garlic Scape Butter is a condiment that tastes like no other.
Packed with delicate garlic and herb flavors, this garlic compound butter will enhance everything you spread it on, or combine it with. It’s one of the best things about growing garlic!
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What are Garlic Scapes?
If you’ve never grown garlic, you’ll be surprised to know that garlic actually has a flower that it sends out in the spring/summer from the garlic bulb. This is only from hard-neck varieties of garlic. The scape grows straight up and then starts to curl around, indicating it’s time to harvest them. They’re a great early ‘vegetable’ that you can easily harvest when most other plants are just getting started.
The scape is harvested from the garlic plant so that it sends signals to redirect its energy to growing the garlic bulb (head) bigger and healthier, and not focus on the flower. Lucky for us, the flower (or scape) is delicious!
This garlic scape butter is great for using up this early harvest for a fantastic condiment that’s packed full of flavor and health benefits that highlights almost anything you make in your kitchen.
- Butter – It’s a great idea to start out using unsalted butter so that you can control the amount of salt in the recipe. Also, starting with good quality butter is optimal if possible and if you’re so inclined, making your own butter is not only easy, but it’s super fun!
- Garlic scapes – For this recipe, you want the freshest and most tender scapes possible. They typically get more fibrous and tough as they get older, so the newest scapes are the best. If you have older ones, they taste just as great but might need a bit more time in the food processor.
- Lemon – Organic is the best because we’re zesting the skin of the lemon and adding it to the recipe.
- Salt (optional)
Preparing Garlic Scapes To Use In Recipes
Super simple, nothing complicated here. They will probably be a bit unruly in their bendy, circular growth so they need a bit of trimming. Depending on what you’re making, I find a quick, thorough wash in cold water is a great start, and then trim off any brown areas.
Cutting them into 3-4 inch sections would be the next step, just to be able to work with them easily.
What Else Can I Use Garlic Scapes With?
Well, this garlic butter is a great place to start. If you have extras, simply chopping them and throwing them in a stirfry is an excellent way to use them.
You can also make a delicious pesto, or vinaigrette, or even pickling them is a great way to enjoy them.
How To Make Garlic Scape Butter
Essentially, mixing ANY combination of ingredients into butter makes a COMPOUND BUTTER. This butter we’re making with garlic scapes would definitely fall into that category and can be adapted to suit your flavor preferences.
Start by warming your butter to room temperature. This is vital when making compound butter to get everything to mix and blend together. This can be done by leaving the box on the counter or you can warm it up by sitting it under a warmed glass bowl to speed up the process.
I don’t recommend melting it because this can make it hard to keep the herbs suspended as it cools and the texture won’t be what we’re looking for in the end product.
Blend all of your garlic scapes and herbs in a food processor until fine. This will help to get the smoothest blend possible. If you are using salted butter you will want to leave out or cut back on the salt you add to this mixture. I used unsalted butter so I could have control over how much salt went into them.
After your herbs are blended together, slowly add in your butter mixing it in a bit at a time. This will whip the butter (increasing the volume) while helping to mix it all together.
When the entire pound of butter is combined with the scapes, lemon and herbs, you’re garlic scape butter is ready to chill. You can roll it into a column and then freeze it – cutting off slices as you use it. I prefer to keep a portion of it in a container in the fridge where I can combine it with other vegetables or top grilled meats and poultry with it. Yum!
Suggestions for Putting a Twist on It
You can make this your own unique compound butter by doing a few things.
- Try adding different herbs to the butter. Rosemary and/or thyme would be great if you left out the basil.
- Adding a bit of crushed red pepper would be delicious if you wanted to put a kick of heat to the butter.
- One of my favorite additions is to add 1-2 anchovy filets to add umami to the butter, but remember to leave out the addition of salt if you use them.
How Do I Use This Garlic Butter?
This can be used anywhere you’d use garlic butter, really.
- Spreading it on toast is a favorite that makes quick and very flavorful garlic bread.
- Combine it with cooked potatoes to make buttery, savory mashed potatoes.
- Top it over roasted or steamed vegetables to enhance their flavors.
- One of the best uses is to top grilled, roasted, or fried chicken, steak, or seafood for an amazing burst of flavor.
Storing Leftover Butter with Garlic Scapes
While in general, you can store butter on the counter at room temperature this recipe adds water (moisture) to the butter. So, if you want to keep this compound butter at room temperature you should only keep a very small amount of butter on the counter at a time (that you would use up in a day or two).
If you keep the entire recipe at room temperature, you risk the butter turning rancid or going moldy.
When wrapped well, ensuring that no air is in your garlic scape mixture, it can stay in your refrigerator for about 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
My favorite option for freezing is to roll it into a log and chill it before cutting it into disks that are perfect for grabbing and placing on top of things when you are ready to use this butter. That makes it easy to keep in the freezer in an air-tight container to grab what you need when you need it.
I hope I’ve convinced you to try making this delicious garlicky, herbacious, lemony butter. Once you make it, you’ll want to keep making it to use on so many different foods! If you’ve tried my recipe, please give me a star rating and/or comment below or send me an email to Joanne@thesaltypot.com
Have a fantastic day!
Easy Garlic Scape Butter
- 1 pound butter (2 cups, 473.18 mL)
- 1 cup garlic scapes, chopped (about 150 grams)
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 Tablespoon chopped basil
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- Salt to taste (Optional if using salted butter)
- Prepare the scapes by washing, drying, and trimming any brown or dried areas.
- Place them in the food processor and chop them to a fine consistency.
- Add the herbs, lemon juice, and zest, and mix well.
- Slowly, add the butter in increments to ensure a good smooth mixture. Don't overwork the mixture so that the machine heats and makes the butter melt.
- Taste for saltiness and adjust to your preferences. Transfer the garlic scape butter into a container and chill.
Use the freshest ingredients possible for outstanding compound butter.
I listed the final volume as 3 cups but this will depend on how much you whip the butter, how much lemon juice and zest you add, etc. You can count on 2.5 to 3 cups of garlic butter when finished.
Remember to cut back on any additional salt if you're starting with salted butter. Always taste and adjust for seasonings as you go.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 69Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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