Pickled Garlic Scapes

By Amanda Paa – Updated April 12, 2020

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.
2. Pesto
3. Pickled!

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
  • coriander
  • 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!

Did you make this?

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July 18, 2011


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  1. Paula Potter

    I love scapes and have found if you chop them up small and blend thoroughly with some softened unsalted butter then shape them in some wax paper and freeze. You can end up with a delicious compound butter that can be used all year long. I love to cook steaks on the grill all year long-even in the snow- and when I take the steak off the heat to rest I slice off a little of the compound butter and put it on top of the steaks and let it melt in … so so good it’s almost naughty

    • amandapaa

      oooo… those steaks with ramp butter sound amazing!

  2. Pam Knight

    Did you post the pesto or did you try using them with hummus?

    • amandapaa

      I didn’t post the pesto – this is actually the recipe i use!!

      • Pam Knight

        Thank you! I have lots of scapes and rhubarb so I greatly appreciate you’re suggestions! Thank you again!

        • amandapaa

          Glad I could help Pam! I just opened a jar of the garlic scapes last night – pure joy! I just wish they had a longer growing season so I could preserve more.

  3. Laura [Novelbite]

    I’m intrigued! Did you ever think of other ways (other than pesto) to use them?

    • amandapaa

      I grilled them, just like you would asparagus, brushed with a little olive oil and salt/pepper. I really liked them like this because it took away some of the sharp raw garlic flavor and gave them the crunchy grilled texture that I think is the essence of summer. I also cut them into tiny two inch pieces and put them into a no mayo potato salad which kind of took the place of celery. Also very good!