Why It Works
- Separating the straight portions of the garlic scapes from the curly tops allows them to fit easily in the canning jar.
- A classic mix of black peppercorns and dill seed makes these a good, garlicky stand-in for dilly beans.
For a large portion of my life, I had no idea that garlic scapes existed—like so many of the vegetables that are now a part of my regular pickling routine. My parents were regular users of garlic, but the fact that hard-neck garlic plants issued green curly growth in early spring was entirely unknown to us back then.
It wasn't until I joined a CSA in my mid-twenties that garlic scapes found their way to my plate. I started by chopping them up and using them in place of garlic cloves in sautéed greens. Soon, I was turned on to the idea of turning them into a very pungent, vividly green pesto (it's a delicious way to handle them, and I make a point of whizzing scapes into pesto for the freezer every spring).
A couple years ago, I finally took the plunge and spiraled a handful of scapes into a jar, added a few spices and vinegar and found that they made the most delightful pickle. In its finished form, it ends up tasting like a wonderfully garlicky dilly bean. If you like the combination of garlic and a snappy pickle, you'll be quite pleased with this one.
Before You Get Started
You probably won't encounter garlic scapes in your local grocery store. They tend to be a farmers' market or CSA-only item. If you struggle to get some, make sure to ask at a local market; it could be that a farmer will bring some in for you.
Garlic scapes are naturally curly. Because of this, they can be kind of hard to tame. I like to trim the straight sections into lengths that will fit into the jars. I either cut the curly sections into small pieces or I twirl them into the jars so they press again the inside wall.
After additional testing, this recipe has been updated to correct the yield and increase the amounts of vinegar, water, and pickling salt.
1/2 pound (220g) trimmed garlic scapes (from 2 to 3 bunches), cut into 2-inch lengths
1 teaspoon (3g) dill seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (280ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons (12g) pickling salt
Prepare a small boiling water bath and two pint jars. Divide the dill seeds and black peppercorns between jars, then pack trimmed scapes into jars.
In a small pot, combine vinegar, pickling salt, and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (280ml) water and bring to a boil over high heat. Slowly pour hot brine over the garlic scapes, leaving 1/2-inch headspace at the top of each jar. Once jars are full, tap jars lightly to dislodge any air bubbles. Check headspace again and add more brine if necessary.
Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Let pickled scapes cure for at least a week before eating. Pickled scapes will last for several weeks in refrigerator after initial seal is broken.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 1g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 8mg||41%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|