Last week I posted about why and how you should harvest your garlic scapes. Scapes are often cherished, very seasonal delicacies at farm-to-table restaurants. They add fresh, green touches to a strong garlic flavor.
One of the best ways to preserve and then eat scapes is to pickle them. Pickled garlic scapes are a “refrigerator pickle” which means there’s no traditional canning or processing. You simply add a vinegar mixture to the jar with the scapes and keep in a corner in your fridge for a few weeks.
People have been pickling vegetables for nearly 4000 years. It was a simple way to lengthen the shelf-life of vegetables long after harvest season. Vinegar’s high amount of acid results in a very low pH. Too low for bacteria to flourish. This low pH, combined with cool temperatures and low amount of oxygen in the jar adds weeks to the shelf-life of these pickled vegetables.
You can pickle and eat the flowers of garlic scapes, but I choose to trim them off to better fit more scapes in my canning jars. If you are also selling these scapes at a farmer’s market, or giving away jars as gifts, you can also curl the scapes up for a better presentation.
I like to cut mine to size and cram as many as I can in one pint to so I cut mine and stack them.
Per 1 pint:
- 3/4 cup apple cider or white vinegar
- 3/4 cup waater
- 1 Tbsp canning salt
- Optional: vegetable culture starter
- Trim off the cut end and the flower bulb from the scape.
2. Measure a length of one scape to 1 inch below the rim of the canning jar. This will be your measuring tape.
3. Cut the rest of the scapes the same length as your first one.
4. Pack canning jar with scapes until you can’t fit in anymore.
5. Combine the vinegar, water and salt in a pan and heat over a stove top. You don’t want the vinegar to boil, just dissolve the salt and be warm enough to wilt the scapes.
6. Pour vinegar mixture into canning jar (leaving 1 inch head space) and keep in fridge. Wait at least 6 weeks before tasting for the best results.
Serve your scapes alongside grilled meat or as part of a charcuterie board.