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Pickle Recipes: Pickled Garlic Scapes Recipe

The smaller the scape, the more tender the pickle in this Pickled Garlic Scapes recipe.
By Andrea Chesman
August 2012
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The scapes from this Pickled Garlic Scapes recipe make a perfect garnish for Bloody Marys.
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From apples to zucchini, The Pickled Pantry (Storey Publishing, 2012) by Andrea Chesman provides 150 recipes for pickles, relishes, chutneys and more. This fresh, contemporary guide to pickling the harvest introduces readers to the foundation techniques of pickling before delving into recipes, ingredients, equipment preparation and safe pickling procedures. The following excerpt is taken from Chapter 3, “Single Jar Pickles.” 

Pickled Garlic Scapes Recipe

by the pint 

The first time I grew garlic, I was shocked because I was expecting scapes and none emerged. It turns out I had planted a soft-neck variety. Only the stiff-neck garlic plant sends up a scape from its central woody stem a few weeks before harvest. The scape is a thin, green, curled extension of the stalk with a small bulbil, or swelling, several inches from its end. The swelling looks like a flower bud, but inside the bulbil are more than 100 tiny cloves that are genetically identical to the parent bulb beneath. If left on the plant, the scape will eventually die and fall over, and the tiny cloves will spill onto the ground, seeding new garlic plants. However, cutting off the scapes keeps the plant’s energy from forming the bulbil and therefore encourages larger bulbs. Until recently the scapes were simply composted, but lately cooks have been experimenting with them. It turns out they make a delightful pickle, quite similar to dilly beans. The smaller the scape, the more tender the pickle.

• 1 cup distilled white vinegar
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon pickling or fine sea salt
• 6 sprigs fresh dill
• 2 cups trimmed 4-inch garlic scapes 

1. Combine the white vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and heat to boiling, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

2. While the vinegar mixture heats, pack the dill into a clean hot 1-pint canning jar. Pack in the scapes. Pour in the hot vinegar mixture, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles and seal.

3. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. To begin this process, set the jars in the preheated canner. The water in the boiling-water-bath canner should be hot, but not boiling, to prevent the jars from breaking. Add boiling water to the canner from the kettle to bring the water level to 1 to 2 inches above the tops of the jars.

4. Over high heat, bring the water to boiling. Start the timing when the water comes to a boil.

5. After the 10 minutes, let cool undisturbed for 12 hours. Store in a cool, dry place. Do not open for at least 6 weeks to allow the flavors to develop.

Kitchen Notes 

– Use the scapes as you would any pickle. They make a lovely and unexpected garnish for a Bloody Mary.

– I usually have enough scapes to fill some jars with the straight ends of the scapes and some with the curly tops.

Excerpted from The Pickled Pantry © by Andrea Chesman, used with permission from Storey Publishing. 

Click here for the main article, How to Can Pickles: 3 Great Pickle Recipes.

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