Loaded with flavor from pungent garlic scapes, briny olives and creamy fresh mozzarella, this garlic scape pizza is a taste sensation. Plus it’s quick and easy! Is there any food that fills quite as many niches as pizza? It’s great when you’re tired or when you’re indecisive. If pleases kids, it satisfies adults. You can have it for dinner, or as an appetizer. Indoors or outdoors? All good!
And with the big flavors in this Garlic Scape Pizza, it won’t feel like you’re making any compromises! In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we made it again the next night!
What are Garlic Scapes?
If you’ve never heard of garlic scapes before, they are the flower stalk from the garlic plant. The scapes get harvested in early summer for one important reason. If you remove the stalks before they flower, the plant will send more energy into the bulb–and you’ll get a better garlic harvest!
The scapes have a garlicky flavor with herbal overtones and can be substituted in many recipes that call for garlic. This is very useful in tiding over locavores until the real harvest is ready!
In the north, garlic is planted in the fall and sprouts in the spring. So by June and early July, sprouts are available in CSA boxes, at farmers markets and from home gardens. And according to Simple Seasonal, “Garlic scapes are a good source of Vitamins A and C as well as fiber. They boast many of the nutritional benefits of garlic cloves, including being high in antioxidants, which, as part of a healthy diet, decrease inflammation in the body and are protective against things like arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.”
In past years, I ended up composting some of my scapes I got so many! This year, I went on a mission to find enough recipes and easily used them all up, also making Garlic Scape Garlic Bread and Garlic Scape pesto (coming!). It was fun!
Why You’ll Love This!
Flavorful. This Garlic Scape Pizza’s combination of salty, creamy and umami is both sophisticated and almost primal! All at once!
Easy. With just a few ingredients, this is quick and easy, especially if you use my homemade pre-baked pizza crusts (and even if you go from scratch there is no rise time).
Fun and Unique. Take this to a potluck and I’m pretty sure no one else will bring a the same dish! I’m also pretty sure you’ll go home with an empty plate!
What You’ll Need
- Garlic scapes. These provide a tasty garlic flavor to the pizza. See “Variations” below for alternatives.
- Olive oil. This is to pre-cook the scapes. You can also use non-stick spray.
- Precooked 12-inch pizza crust. You can also use pizza dough to make a 12-inch crust.
- Pizza or pasta sauce. Use your favorite, homemade or commercial, as a base.
- Kalamata olives. These add a punch of flavor. You can use other olives types of olives if you prefer.
- Fresh mozzarella. This provides a creamy-fresh cheese flavor and some protein.
- Parmesan cheese. This provides a flavor boost and hint of umami.
- Basil leaves (optional). Added after baking for a visual and flavor accent.
- Parchment. This will help keep the pizza together and make transfer easier to and from the oven.
- Rimless baking sheet or pizza peel. Also to help transfer to and from the oven.
- Pizza stone (optional). I can’t seem to keep these intact so i personally bake on the oven rack (on parchment).
Step by Step Directions
Cut off seed end of scapes and compost or discard.
Cut remainder of scape into sections from 1-inch to about 8-inches in size (your choice). Cook scapes in a large sautee pan.
Cut a piece of baking parchment large enough to accommodate a 12 inch pizza and set crust (raw or pre-baked) on this. Top pizza crust with sauce.
Divide up garlic scapes on top of sauce.
Dot with kalamata olive halves.
Top with fresh mozarella slices.
Grate an ounce or two of Parmesan on top of this.
Bake, then serve.
How to Serve
This will serve two–just make an extra pizza if you are serving four. Conveniently, most prepared pizza dough (like that from Trader Joe’s) can make two 12-inch crusts. And the fresh mozzarella also comes in 8-ounce packages which work for two pizzas.
For a complete meal, simply add a salad to the pizza. And if your husband has just finished a 25 mile bike ride, heat up a nice Italian bread and serve that with butter too!
Garlic Scape Pizza also makes a fun appetizer. In that case, cut it into two inch squares instead of pizza wedges.
This would also be a welcome addition at any buffet or potluck. Or to really get in the spirit, try making a few different pizzas and having a “pizza bar.” Your kids will love it! See “variations” below form more pizza ideas!
When it’s no longer garlic scape season, feel free to make any convenient substitution. In spring wild ramps would be perfect, in fall and winter, garlic cloves or a combination of garlic cloves and scallions.
Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator. I love cold pizza for breakfast but if I decide to reheat, I usually do it in a 450 F oven or sometimes in a covered frying pan to restore some semblance of crispness. My husband just goes for quick and soft and reheats in the microwave.
Tips & FAQs
I use a flat cookie sheet as a pizza peel. I put a piece of parchment on the cookie sheet, build the pizza on that, then slide pizza and parchment right onto the oven rack (or stone, when I had one).
After cracking two pizza stones (from thermal stress), I am currently baking my pizzas on the oven rack on a sheet of parchment. The parchment helps keep the pizza from sinking down through the gaps in the rack but still lets the crust get crispy. And brown parchment is (usually) compostable—check your package to confirm.
To prepare may scapes, I cut off the seed end, then cut them into long, half to one-third-scape sized pieces, since I think that looks cool. But you can cut them into 1 inch pieces if you are worried about being able to bite through them. I have a bad bite and slid more than a couple long pieces off whole (I do this with pepperoni too). My husband, equipped with better teeth, had no problem.
Do I need to precook the garlic scapes? Pre-cooking does two things to the garlic scapes. It makes them more tender and it mellows the sometimes sharp flavor. But if you are pressed for time, take a small bite of a raw scape. If it’s not too woody (sometimes this happens with older scapes) or too harsh, you can skip the pre-cooking.
I like to use homemade pre-cooked pizza crusts which makes this super easy! I make up about 4 crusts at a time and freeze what I don’t use within a couple days. But a commercial prepared crust is another time saver, or you can start with purchased or homemade raw pizza dough.
- About 6 garlic scapes, cut in half or thirds
- ½ Tablesspoon oil
- 1 12 inch pizza crust, precooked or about 6-8 ounces of pizza dough (see note).
- ½ cup pizza or pasta sauce
- 12 kalamata olives, halved
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella (half of an 8-ounce ball)
- 1-2 ounces finely grated parmesan cheese
- 4-6 medium-large basil leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 F, including pizza stone if using (pizza stone is optional).
Cut off seed end of scapes and compost or discard. Cut remainder of scape into sections from 1-inch to 6-inches in size (your choice).
Heat oil in a large sautee pan and twirl the pan so it covers the bottom. Alternatively spray with non-stick spray. Cook on medium to medium-low, covered, for about 10 minutes turning the scapes after 5 minutes, until tender. It’s okay if they brown, but they should not char.
Cut a piece of baking parchment large enough to accommodate a 12 inch pizza. Roll out pizza dough on parchment to form a 12 inch pizza crust in the thickness of your choice. Or if using a pre-cooked crust set crust on parchment.
Top the crust as follows. Top pizza crust with sauce. Divide up garlic scapes on top of sauce. Dot with kalamata olive halves. Slice half of an 8-ounce ball of fresh into 4 slices and place evenly on top of pizza. Grate an ounce or two of Parmesan on top of this.
Using a rimless baking sheet or a pizza peel, transfer parchment and pizza to oven and set on rack or pizza stone. Bake at 450 for about 10-15 minutes until crust is done and cheese is melted, perhaps with the barest hint of color.
Remove from oven using baking sheet as a peel again. Cut and serve.
For a pizza dough recipe, you can use my pre-baked crust recipe--even if you don't pre-bake. This will make about four ultra-thin 12-inch crusts, or two regular 12-inch crusts.
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