We got another big bunch of garlic scapes from our CSA this week. As we've still got plenty of garlic scape pesto in the freezer from the last haul, I figured I'd try something new. And we've been really loving both the pickled ramps and pickled asparagus we made recently so pickling seemed like the way to go.
I turned to my new go-to canning Bible, Marisa McClellan's lovely, new book, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round. Sure enough, she had a good-sounding and very simple recipe for pickled garlic scapes. I cut her original recipe in half since I only had half a pound (have I mentioned yet how much I love my little OXO kitchen scale?!) of scapes, but if you have more, just double or triple the amounts below to fit.
As usual, I was trying to do at least three things at once while I made these and missed the little note at the very bottom of the page about her preferred method of packing since I was slightly at a loss because the scapes inevitably end up in both straight and curly pieces. I've included it higher up here so that YOU won't miss it. And mine will still taste just as good as if I'd packed them more neatly.
Also, a note on the pickling spices - I included a lot of spices but you could also do this with just peppercorns, bay leaf and dill or coriander seeds if you don't have all of these things - nothing is set in stone!
In my opinion, the only downside to this (or any pickles) is the intensely vinegar-y smell that pervades your house for a few hours after you boil your brine. But it fades and it's so worth it once you finally crack open a jar of whatever you've made.
Pickled Garlic Scapes adapted from the Food in Jars cookbook
Makes one pint jar
* 1/2 pound garlic scapes (1 decent-sized bunch)
* 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
* 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
* a few whole cloves
* a bay leaf
* 1/4 teaspoon dill seed
* an allspice berry
* a juniper berry
* a pinch of hot pepper flakes
* 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
* 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
* 3/4 cups water
* 1 tablespoon pickling salt
1. Trim the ends of the scapes, both the blossom end and the hard bit that formed at the original cut, and cut them into lengths that will fit in your jar. Prepare a small boiling water bath and sterilize a single pint jar, lid and band.
2. Combine the vinegar, water and pickling salt in a pot and bring to a boil.
3. Remove the jar from the boiling water bath, empty and set on a kitchen towel. Place the spices in the sterilized pint jar along with a pinch of salt.
4. Pack the trimmed scapes into the jar. Note: since you'll be dealing with both straight and curved pieces, Marisa suggests packing the curved pieces along the sides of the jar and the straighter pieces inside standing straight up - kind of a like a curly log cabin look (or vice versa) - I ended up just putting mine all in there in no order which is also fine.
5. Slowly pour the hot brine over the garlic scapes, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Once the jar is full, tap the jar lightly to dislodge any air bubbles. Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary.
6. Wipe the rim, apply the lid and ring, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Let these pickles cure for at least a week before eating. Pickles will last for several weeks in refrigerator after initial seal is broken.
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