Last week I harvested all of the garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are the twisty stems formed on hardneck garlic about two weeks before the garlic is ready to harvest. I like to pick my scapes when they are fully twirled in a circle. By the time I was finished I had about 100 garlic scapes.
So what do I do with garlic scapes? It seems like many people have never heard of scapes before so let’s look at what I used them for. With so many scapes I offered some up for sale thinking there would be a huge market for them. I was wrong. People don’t really know what they are. Scapes once harvested keep for about three weeks in the fridge so I wasn’t too worried. Coming from a retail background I knew if I was going to sell them I wanted them to be as fresh as possible. A few days after harvest some were sold. I still had lots left over. I hate wasted food so I had to use them up.
It was time to get to work. I made pesto with garlic scapes last year but wanted to make something different. Could I make garlic butter? I washed and cut the garlic scapes into 2″ pieces and tossed them in the food processor.
I pulsed them until they were quite finely chopped. I emptied the scapes into two small freezer containers. Chopped up, the scapes didn’t amount to much but I could smell the garlic and knew I would use them like this.
I let a pound of butter soften and added about 1 cup of chopped scapes to it and blended it well. Now I had a homemade garlic spread. I rolled the butter into a log and placed it in the freezer. I will slice off what I need for meals.
I still had lots of chopped scapes leftover from the processor. Last night I used them over some sockeye salmon with a sweet mustard glaze. It was amazing! I also made some fried rice from scratch. For this you brown 1 cup rice in butter in a large frying pan. Once it has browned a bit, add 2 cups broth of your choice and add chopped scapes and chopped celery. Let it simmer on low until the rice is done. I call this my homemade rice a roni. So easy to make and you know whats in it. Use your scapes to add flavour to any dish, even leftovers. Add them to leftover mashed potatoes or to eggs. Be sure to chop them finely as they can be tough if not cut small.
Today I am pickling the last of the garlic scapes. I found a recipe online that makes 2 pint jars of pickled scapes. That’s perfect for the two of us. I washed the scapes and cut them in short pieces so they would fit in the jar. It may be a good idea to measure ahead of time.
I had dill growing in the garden so I cut some to place in the bottom of the jars. Be sure to rinse the dill off first! This will give the scapes that wonderful dill flavour.
Recipes always make this sound easy. I placed the scapes in each jar trying to fit in as many as I could . Now scapes are not all that straight so I placed curvy ones on top or wiggled them in to fit.
I finally got all the scapes in the sterilized jars. This does take a bit of time trying to get them in next to each other.
I placed the really curly scapes on top. I knew not to over fill the jar so I stopped where I knew the brine would come to. Using a funnel, I poured the warm brine over the scapes to about a half-inch from the rim. I placed the sterilized seals and rings on the jars and left the jars to cool. I will store them in the fridge for about four weeks before tasting.
Here the pickled scapes are cooling off. I hope they turn out okay. I went for the recipe with a bit of added sugar. I know, my sweet tooth made me do it. Its time to label them and mark the date on the jar. I can’t wait to try them out.
I used the recipe from this site on What to Do with Garlic Scapes. Be sure to add the water to your pot as I almost missed it as an ingredient when making the brine. I had maybe 1/4 cup of brine left which I didn’t use so the measurements worked for me.
So the next time you see garlic scapes, let me know if you tried them and how you used them. We always love new recipes from the garden.