Garlic Scape Chimichurri Sauce

garlic Scape Chimichurri Sauce on The Creekside CookWhile I was away, constantly inhaling that unmatcheable perfume that is only found at the top of a newborn baby’s head, Larry had to cut all of the garlic scapes from our over 200 heads of garlic.

Garlic scapes are the flower of a garlic plant, and leaving them in place robs the garlic bulb of growth, as the plant will put more energy into maturing a flower, which will eventually fling seeds around – nature’s way of growing more garlic. Our way is to separate the cloves and plant them, but nature takes a more direct approach. We want nice fat cloves of garlic, but nature just wants to make sure there will be more garlic.

Scapes are very tasty – a milder flavor and they have a green tasting quality to them that I like a lot. I like to make Garlic Scape Pesto and get some of that in the freezer, but this year, when I returned home, I decided to use some of it for one of our favorite condiments – Chimichurri Sauce.

Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce that consists of garlic, fresh herbs, vinegar and oil, and it is most often used to top grilled or roasted meat. It is really good on chicken or pork, but I think it really shines on beef, which is after all a favorite food in Argentina – they know what tastes good on beef!

Because the scapes are more mild than the actual garlic will eventually be, you can use more of them and in this recipe, they make up the bulk of the sauce. I added the herbs I have that are just now really taking off in the garden – parsley, cilantro and fresh oregano. I also liked the idea of cumin, so I toasted some whole cumin seeds and tossed those in as well.Cup of Garlic Scape Chimichurri on The Creekside Cook

Chimichurri sauce is not only infinitely adjustable to suit your tastes, but also pretty scaleable, in that you can increase or decrease the amount, depending on how much sauce you need. My herbs are just getting going really well, and there are only two of us here, so I only wanted to end up with a cup or so – feel free to change the amounts to suit what you like and what you have. And if you don’t have any garlic scapes, just use a few cloves of garlic, though you will want to increase the the proportion of herbs you use, because scapes are much milder in flavor.

Garlic Scape Chimichurri Sauce
No food processor? You can just chop everything by hand and then mix in the vinegar and oil.
Author:
Recipe type: Condiment, Sauce
Serves: about 1 cup
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seed
  • About 8 to 10 garlic scapes - use the bulb part, plus the 5 inches or so above and below it, as that is the most tender
  • ½ to 1 jalapeno- stem, seeds and membranes removed
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ⅓ cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons high quality olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 10 grinds fresh black pepper
Instructions
  1. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet for about 1 minute - until they smell very fragrant. Set aside to cool for a couple minutes.
  2. Roughly chop the garlic scapes.
  3. Place the cumin seeds, garlic scapes, parsley, cilantro and oregano in the bowl of a food processor.
  4. Process, pausing to scrape down the sides if needed, until everything is chopped uniformly and fairly fine - you want the garlic scape pieces to be about the size of rice grains.
  5. Add the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and pulse briefly to combine.
  6. Scrape the chimichurri sauce into a small bowl. Allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour at least before using, so that they flavors have a chance to blend together.
  7. Serve as an accompaniment to grilled meats, on tacos, burritos, burgers, scrambled eggs, etc. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week, but bring back to room temperature before serving.

 
I use chimichurri not only as a condiment, but also as an add-in for vinaigrettes, sauces and dips – anytime I want a hit of garlicky, slightly spicy kick.
Bowl of Garlic Scape Chimichurri Sauce on The Creekside CookBut, you just wan’t beat it as a topping for steak!Steak with Garlic Scape Chimichurri Sauce on The Creekside Cook

17 thoughts on “Garlic Scape Chimichurri Sauce

  1. Oh my goodness gracsious, Donalyn. I absolutely adore Chimichurri Sauce! The blend of flavors you have going on here have finally convinced me, I really need to make my own!!! Gorgeous (can Chimichurri Sauce be gorgeous:) Thank you so much for sharing, Donalyn, Soooooo Pinnned!

  2. Thank you for this. I did not know that I should cut off the scapes. Our garlic patch is truly wild and has reseeded itself for years. I kind of like that about it but next year I will cut some scapes!

    • Debra – depending on where you live, and what kind of garlic you have, you may be doing it right already. here in the NE, we mostly grow hardneck varieties that are planted in October and harvested the following July – that is the kind from which the scapes must be removed.

  3. I LOOOOOOOVE Chimichurri sauce, but I actually never made homemade and I didn’t know what’s in the sauce. This is wonderful, Donalyn! I’ll definitely make this sauce this summer and ask my husband to grill some meat! Looking forward to the delicious meal… <3

  4. Thanks for explaining garlic scapes and how they grow – I don’t think I’ve ever seen them or eaten them. I love the colour of your sauce – it’s so vibrant and looks incredible on your beef xx

  5. Chimichurri is the only Argentinian recipe I have ever heard about and I remember I saw it once on tv, loved the way it looked, wrote it down and… forgot about it until today! I am so glad to see it here on your blog. I have never cooked with garlic scape, so I’m even more amazed at your wonderful creation. I am even tempted to plant garlic just to get garlic scapes and make this sauce 😉

  6. The only time I’ve had this sauce was at one of those Argentinian BBQ places and I can’t believe how easy it is to make! Thanks SO much for a great recipe!

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