Garlic scapes – also known as a funky, curly, neon green, super cool vegetable – in my books :) Up until this summer I had only heard of scapes but didn’t really know what they were or how to use them. As I hit the farmers market this year I kept seeing loads of them and wanted in on the fun! Scapes are the the shoot and bud of the garlic plant that grow upwards from the bulb. The shoots grow about a foot out of the ground before they form the bud and after that the curling begins!
At a food swap I attended, someone had made Garlic Scape Pesto which I was able to sample and it was awesome – smooth, garlicky goodness with a little bite! I picked myself up quite a few bunches at the farmers market with a few ideas for how I wanted to try them at home:
1. Grilled with a little olive oil which takes the sharp garlic taste and mellows it down to an almost sweet/savory flavor.
I took bits and pieces of recipes I saw online for pickling the scapes, knowing that I wanted to include some mustard seeds, coriander, and a few chili flakes for some heat. You can either cut the scapes so they are straight and pack them into jars or leave them curled which is what I did. Here’s what I came up with, and let me tell you, these won’t last long in your house!
Pickled Garlic Scapes
- 3 cups of water
- 2 3/4 cups of white vinegar (5% acidity)
- mustard seed
- red pepper flakes
- 1/4 c pickling/canning salt
- about 30 scapes
Prepare jars for canning, sterilizing them and also the lids/tops in boiling water. Wash and trim woody ends off of scapes (just like what you would do with asparagus). Bring the water, vinegar, and salt to a boil. Pack scapes into jars, then add about 1/4 tsp. mustard seed, red pepper flakes, and coriander to each jar. Ladle brine into jars, covering scapes and leaving about 1/4 inch of headspace. Remember to remove air bubbles, then cap. Place in boiling water batch for 8-10 minutes. Viola!