Brine Pickled Garlic Scapes Recipe

Brine-pickled garlic scapes, a near-perfect example of waste-not, want-not thinking, makes excellent use of a seemingly obscure food – one cherished only by gardeners and only the most enthusiastic of farmers market goers: the humble garlic scape.  The garlic scape, a long and serpentine stem that protrudes from garlic as it grows before opening into a pale, green-white flower bud is one of those rare delicacies you simply won’t find in a grocery store. In the spring and early summer, garlic growers cut down these shoots sending the plant’s energy that would spring upward toward the sky down into the bulb, fattening it like a goose fed on figs and nuts before landing on a lucky family’s Christmas table

Prep time
5 mins
Total time
5 mins
Choose just the tenderest and youngest flowers for these pickled garlic scapes, leaving the scape’s woody stem for use in a naturally probiotic, fermented relish or to use fresh. These pickled scapes are strongly flavored and deeply robust with garlic flavor. You can always add spices to the mixture as well, dill and bay do nicely, but garlic lovers will revel in the simple combination of scape, salt and starter. Fresh whey, sauerkraut juice or packaged starter work well.
Serves: 1 quart (8 Servings)
  1. Stir sea salt and starter culture or whey together with one quart fresh, filtered and dechlorinated water until the salt and starter culture are dissolved into the water completely.
  2. Pack your crock full of trimmed garlic scapes.
  3. Pour the mixture of water, salt and starter over the scapes, ensuring that they’re completely covered by the brine.
  4. Ferment at room temperature for at least a week, preferably two or even three or four (fermentation is not an exact science), until the scapes achieve a level of sourness that suits you.
  5. Once the scapes have pickled to your liking, remove them to the refrigerator or a cool cellar for storage.

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