Thin garlic scapes bend into graceful arcs as they emerge from the soil, creating a striking vegetable. The center becomes wooden as the garlic ages (hence the hard neck in hardneck garlic), so avoid garlic scapes that have straightened into stiff rods.

Good luck finding a cookbook that offers suggestions for the mild garlic taste of scapes. We treated them as stand-ins for green onions, slicing the beautiful curves into long wands or thin rounds and adding them to a dish just at the end. Too much cooking destroys the subtle but fresh flavor.

Photos by Melissa Schneider