Pickle Recipes: Pickled Garlic Scapes Recipe

The smaller the scape, the more tender the pickle in this Pickled Garlic Scapes recipe.

| August 2012

  • “The Pickled Pantry” by Andrea Chesman is a comprehensive guide to pickling that includes 150 zesty pantry possibilities.
    Cover Courtesy Storey Publishing
  • The scapes from this Pickled Garlic Scapes recipe make a perfect garnish for Bloody Marys.
    Photo By Fotolia/Dhalberg

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.

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