lemony pork fillets + garlic scapes = blissful + whimsical combination

lemony pork fillets + garlic scapes = blissful + whimsical combination

lemony pork and garlic scapes

Sometimes life just stumps you.  Such was the case when these absolutely, incredibly, beautiful and delicate garlic scapes found their way into my kitchen and onto my plate. A friend of mine, Daleen gave me a bunch of these green little wonders and said that I needed to cook something with it. But there I was, utterly stumped.  What was I going to do with these culinary flowers?  They belonged in a pretty flower vase on the window sill surely?  At first I thought the little buds on these slender green shoots were “onion flowers” and then with a wicked smile, Daleen informed me that they were actually garlic scapes or garlic flowers. I had never seen these little miracles before …Clearly, I need to get out more… Anyway, these flowers were just so fragile and perfect – long leafless stems with the little closed flowers on the top – and inside the flowers were the seeds of the garlic plant.  It was another wonder of creation.

garlic scapes, garlic flowers

But how and what could I do with these edible creations?  As always my weekly food journey starts with the world’s greatest encyclopedia, the internet. I read that the flower of the garlic plant is sometimes eaten and that it has a much milder flavour than the actual garlic bulbs. I read further that these seeds were mostly consumed while immature and still tender. This seemed to make some sense as the bottom part of the stem was rock hard. These stalks will be great in soups and stews.

inside of the garlic scapes, garlic flower

I don’t know why but my mind took me to Asia when I saw them … a dish of greens and pork. That is what I eventually decided to do…. My secret for this recipe was to keep everything simple.  The idea was to let the subtle garlic scapes infuse with lemon and then just let this flavour the greens and the pork.   The delicate simplicity of the flavours makes this a genuinely blissful, if not whimsical combination. Garlic scapes are available in stores at the moments – so please try it – it’s both fun and delicious.

lemony pork and garlic scapes


lemony pork fillets + garlic scapes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • For the pork
  • 300g Pork fillet
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1T Soya sauce
  • Black pepper for seasoning
  • Salt – if you need extra seasoning
  • Oil for frying in pan
  • For the garlic scapes
  • 4-6 Garlic scapes (keep some whole and have some cut in halves) - use only a small piece of the stem and the flower
  • 2T Butter
  • Fresh juice from ½ lemon
  • A bit of white wine - +- 50ml
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • For the Asian greens
  • Asian greens for two people - I went to the Chinese market and got a variety of greens i.e. bok choy
  • 1-2T Soya sauce
  • Oil for frying
  • Fresh juice from one lemon
  • Lemon infused olive oil to drizzle over your dish when cooked
  1. For the pork: Add the oil to the pan and sear the fillets.
  2. Then add your seasoning - pepper + lemon juice + soja sauce - fry the pork fillets on medium high heat till done.
  3. Make sure your fillets are properly cooked through - but do not over cook. Add a bit of salt if you like.
  4. For the scapes: Add butter to a medium hot pan.
  5. Braise the garlic scapes till soft in butter and wine. This will take about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the lemon juice and some salt and pepper for seasoning.
  7. For the other greens: Heat a wok until it is very hot – add the oil and then the greens.
  8. Flash fry the greens for a few minutees and add the soya sauce + lemon juice + pepper.
  9. Taste for seasoning.
  10. To serve: Add the greens to the plate.
  11. Cut your pork and put that on top of the green.
  12. Drizzle the juices of the pan over the pork + drizzle some lemon infused olive oil over the whole dish.
  13. And then place some garlic scapes on top.



10 Responses »

  1. Thanks Maureen. I think i am going to start to grow some myself. I loved the subtleness of the scapes

  2. Looks awesome, the 3rd comment lady must be lonely…some people are just me,me,me and this post deserves to be just you,you,you! Interesting and very current for your part of the world!

  3. I had so many of these in my garden, never thought to cook them. Will have to grow them again as this looks to tempting!

  4. This dish looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve only cooked garlic scapes once and that was when I was growing my own. I haven’t seen them here in any of the markets.

  5. I saw you on Facebook and commented on your pics 🙂 – i was working on this the past week and just loved it. Yes i agree the stalks are very stringy – i think you need to take them out of the soup after cooking them – the flowers are soft and lovely and i wanted to keep them whole. x

  6. How interesting that you should post this now. I had a lot of conversation about garlic scapes on facebook the past two days as I found some in Robertson a few days ago. I will not bother with them again really as I made soup (all I can eat at the moment) and it was SO labour intensive. Those hard stalks are just full of fibrous strings. I spent about an hour sieving and getting rid of the hairs before I could enjoy my soup…which did taste fabulous by the way 🙂 I like the way that you prepared yours. It sounds delish. The flowers were great! I found that I had to cook the soup for so long to soften the stalks enough to blend that a lot of the garlic flavour was lost. Maybe should have kept the flowers back and put them in for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Thanks for sharing xx

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