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Simple Pleasures: Rainbow Chard Egg Scramble in a Garlic Scape Nest


July 6, 2012

Cranes Beach, one of my favorite places on earth.

Have I mentioned I’m in paradise?

Of course, there’s no such thing. But when we allow ourselves to believe this simple fairy tale, bookended with no schedules, no responsibilities, no To-Do list, and no meetings, we can almost disappear for a minute into days of endless possibility, indulgent foods of my youth, afternoons dozing on the beach, and wearing PJs until noon.

The pile of flip-flops abandoned, only to be retrieved by the end of the day, sometimes yours is still there, if not, you just take another.

We also find ourselves suddenly able to recognize and enjoy those simple pleasures, the things that in our haste to be on time, and maximize output, and multitask to the hilt, we miss. To me, there is perhaps no greater pleasure than uncomplicated meals, served outside, with friends new and old.

The view from dinner, served simply on a door and saw horses, with dogs running under foot, hoping for a nibble of some sort of deliciousness.

Each season has its ingredient “Darlings”; the things that restaurants and farms alike fall in love with and celebrate across their menus.  This year it seems to be Garlic Scapes. They are everywhere, and such fun to cook with given their beautiful shapes, savory flavor, and VIP status.

This season’s Culinary Darling: Garlic Scapes (incidentally these are beautiful in flower arrangements too).

This breakfast was the ultimate in simplicity, nothing more than some sautéed garlic scapes, wilted rainbow chard, eggs, and good sharp cheddar cheese, but eaten while looking out over the cove, and barely finishing by noon, it was, at the moment, all I wanted.

Rainbow Chard Egg Scramble in a Garlic Scape Nest
Serves 2

Rainbow Chard Egg Scramble served in a Garlic Scape Nest

1 TB Olive Oil
1 Garlic Scape, thinly sliced, avoiding the light green bottom and bulb plus 2 more for garnish
10 leaves rainbow chard, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
4 eggs, vigorously beaten
1/4 cup extra sharp cheddar, the best you can find, loosely diced

  1. In a cast iron skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the garlic scape and cook stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes, until pungent.
  2. Add 2 TB of water to the pan and cook until water has evaporated and garlic is softened
  3. Add the rainbow chard and cook until wilted, and all liquid gone.
  4. Reduce heat to low, and add the eggs.
  5. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the cheese, and stir well to combine.
  7. Cook until desired doneness is achieved.
  8. Serve with toasted English Muffins, nestled in a Garlic Scape nest for garnish.


  1. Loved the garlic scopes I brought home from Pike Place market! Never had seen them before. So good in risotto. We used the flower too, just removed the petals around the flower bud. Sounds like a delish breakfast!

    • Erina says:

      How did you do them in risotto? I bet that would be delicious…I’m reading Trail of Crumbs right now (from the BlogHer keynote), and she suggests putting a truffle into a large jar of aborio rice to infuse the flavor. I thought of you and all your truffle goodies!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    This is the first year I’ve seen garlic scapes in the market in Rome. I love cooking with them and hope they show up next year too.

    • Erina says:

      I’m so glad to hear that Elizabeth…I feel like this is the first year I’ve seen them too, but perhaps I’ve just been out of the loop. Let us know what recipes you come up with for them!

  3. Linda says:

    For me, getting away is one of the most pleasurable things in life. You sound like you’re having a wonderful time. Love the simple egg scramble. I’m curious to try garlic scapes now… and totally agree. They are this year’s farmer’s market darling.

    • Erina says:

      It’s been a grand trip, Linda, although sadly winding down. And yes, eager for you to try garlic scapes as well…true confession: I’d never cooked with them before, but they are quite fun, so I see their addition in lots of this summer’s menus!

  4. veghotpot says:

    looks wonderful! I’ve never seen garlic scapes in the uk before but theyre popping up over the blog world so guess its scapes season! may be a silly question but why do they have “garlic” in their name, do they taste like garlic?

    • Erina says:

      Hi there,

      Not a silly question at all…I think they seem to have burst onto the scene this year and everyone is pretending they know what they are, but frankly I’d never heard of them!

      Yes, they taste quite a bit like garlic, and can be quite strong, hence why blanching them quickly, or adding a bit of water as I do in this recipe helps to soften both the texture and taste.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • veghotpot says:

        Thanks so much for the info I shall have to see if I can get my hands on any! 🙂

        • Erina says:

          If you do, let us know what you end up making with them and what you think! A restaurant the other day was doing an eggs benedict with oyster mushrooms in place of ham and grilled garlic scapes on top…it was delicious!

  5. Mmmmm this looks like the perfect egg dish. I love garlic scapes! Definitely can’t get them in Israel as far as I know but I should be able to find some at the nyc farmers market. Gorgeous pictures! Makes me wish I was there 🙂

    • Erina says:

      Thanks Katherine! I am sure you are very excited for your NYC adventure.

      Had you heard of Garlic Scapes before this Season? They seem to have just crashed onto the scene and now they are everywhere!

      When do you come back and for how long?

  6. alex says:

    love those beach photos! chard is one of my favorite ingredients! great recipe!

  7. I haven’t had garlic scapes in a long while…that looks super!

    • Erina says:

      Thanks Angie! I think you might officially be the first person who had ever heard of garlic scapes before this season…ha!

  8. Hannah says:

    Love your photos, Erina! What a magical time you are having. Your eggs with garlic scapes are making me hungry. I first discovered garlic scapes last summer when they appeared in my CSA box – one of the reasons I love a CSA, I feel like something new will always pop up. And yes, now garlic scapes are exploding! I love the suggestion to use scapes in a flower arrangement, too…

    • Erina says:

      Thanks Hannah…the wonder of Instagram…a Wonderbra for iPhone photos! You are joining the elite few who had heard of garlic scapes before this season. I am impressed. Any other tips for how to successfully cook with them? I’ve got loads!

      • Hannah says:

        I made some garlic scape pesto and that was quite good. I kept them raw and it worked well. They are great in salads, too (saute first in a little olive oil). So good!

        • Erina says:

          Love it…thanks! I also have an asian basil plant that’s going nuts, so might try making pesto with that as well. I’ve never done it with asian basil, but hopefully it’ll do the trick…

  9. Fredrick Talamentez says:

    I always want to read food blogs online because i love to munch foods. My motto in life is that “i live to eat” that is why i love food so much. ,”;.,

  10. Robert says:

    hey everyone, i’ve grown garlic in tweed ontario canada for 20 years. The scape is actually the flowering part of Garlic. It begins as a twisted little stem (of great beauty) then eventually unfurls and straightens out. They are best harvested after the first curl,for culinary purposes, a little later for floral application. the more it ages,,, the woodier it becomes. It can be sliced in 1/8 to 1/4 ” slices and fried in stirfry or cut a little larger and steamed. it has a true garlic flavour and will keep for seveal months in a ziplock bag in a crisper. we are using it at our workplace as a garnish,,, cut 2″ long, then sliced in quadrants, soaked, and they curl up similar to green onion. In the words of the Fish Lake Garlic Man, Learn to love to eat it raw.

    • Erina says:

      Wow…thanks Robert! I think you’ve just increased my knowledge of the garlic scape by 1000%. They really are so beautiful, and delicious to boot. I’m excited to have discovered them. Thanks for stopping by!

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