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Garlic Scape Pickles

By Judith Hausman, Urban Farm contributor

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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Photo by Judith Hausman

Pickle excess garlic scapes for later use.

Bright and powerfully-flavored with their gracefully curling, swan neck shape, garlic scapes are the avant-garde for the eventual garlic heads and are too delicious to waste. A spicy pickling brine came to the rescue when my portion of precious garlic scapes came in from my CSA just as I was leaving for vacation. It’s a thrill to already be squirreling away this year’s harvest!

As I had only about a quart’s worth, I chose a quick, refrigerator pickle, which was not sealed with a water bath. A 10-minute processing of the sealed jar covered in boiling water would let the pickled scapes keep on a shelf for months. Use two pint jars if you prefer smaller portions.

The spices I used are each optional. You might try simply a chili and a few grape leaves or a more traditional quartet of mustard seed, bay leaf, a few peppercorns and dill heads. I’ll serve the pickles with cocktails (a garlic scape martini?) or with a light lunch later in the season. 

Yield: 1 quart

INGREDIENTS

  • about 24 garlic scapes 
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • a few whole cloves
  • one bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • a few allspice berries
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 1 dried chili, according to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
PREPARATION

Sterilize a quart jar, lid and band.

Trim the ends of the scapes, both the blossom end and the hard end. Either curl them into the jar or cut them to convenient lengths and fill the jar with them. 

Add the spices to the jar. 

Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, water and salt in a pot and bring to a boil briefly. Set the jar on a kitchen towel. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the garlic scapes to cover them. (You may not use all of the vinegar mixture). 

Seal the jar. 

Cool; then store in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks before eating and up to 6 months. Occasionally reverse the jar to distribute the spices.

 

You might also enjoy these Locavore Recipes:

Garlic Scape Gremolata

Vegan Lasagna Recipe

Read more of Locavore Recipes »

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About the Blogger

Judith Hausman

Judith Hausman
As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City 'burbs.

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