My grandfather pickled garlic scapes long before they were a “trendy” food. He was an Italian who grew up in the depression and nothing went to waste in his household. As a kid, opening the refrigerator door and finding pickled pigs feet was not surprising to me. Tripe, smelt, head cheese (yes, it is what its name says) were staples in the house. Now, by no means was I the first one at the dinner table, begging for another plate of scungilli. Noooooo. Some things are best left for the hard core Italian.
But, garlic scapes, well… they were good. Unfortunately, Grampa never wrote anything down and all those wonderful recipes were lost to the ages.
So, when I was faced with an over-abundance of garlic scapes, I decided to try pickling them using a slightly modified recipe I found on foodiewithfamily.com
Here’s to you Grampa. Now, pass the head cheese.
Pickled Garlic Scapes
Makes about two pint jars
- 2 bunches garlic scapes, washed and trimmed both ends
- 1-1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp pickling salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS PER JAR
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp mustard seed
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Combine vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil; stir constantly until sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Coil each garlic scape and insert into a sterilized canning jar. Note: it’s a little tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. You can also cut the scapes into 1-2 inch pieces.
- Add the spices to each jar.
- Fill the jars with hot pickling liquid leaving a 1/4″ head space.
- Process in a water bath canner (click here for canning directions) for 10 minutes.
- Instead of canning, the scapes will also keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.