Tangy and a bit sharp, alluring in their dark green color, mustard refrigerator pickled garlic scapes taste of spices and apple cider vinegar.
It is fitting that the recipe I post the day after my birthday will be one for pickles; mustard garlic scape pickles, to be exact.
Because every year for the past five, the days around my birthday have been a fest of pickling of industrial proportions around here: we usually stick to my famous spicy garlic dill pickles, but sometimes, even more, unique pickles like these pickled garlic scapes.
Tangy and a bit sharp, alluring in their dark green colour, this garlic scape mustard recipe taste faintly of spices and apple cider vinegar, of renewal and fall.
They are gorgeous with sharp cheddar cheese, pate for the meat eaters among you, or when paired with some ground cherry jam and crackers – basically, anywhere you’d use French cornichons.
So if you’re an experienced pickler looking to try a new recipe, or a burgeoning foodie intrigued by this fabulous new ingredient, I encourage you to give these garlic scape pickles a try!
What are garlic scapes?
Their bodies contorted and twisted within themselves, their heads reaching out to the sky, their color as vibrant as the greenest jungle plants, garlic scapes look like alien parasites from another planet. And yet they are probably one of the most underrated and underappreciated plants to benefit from the foodie renaissance our culture has experienced in recent years.
The offshoot of the garlic plant, garlic scapes, were usually chopped to allow the bulbs to develop and relegated to the compost heap. But in recent years, chefs and foodies constantly looking for new and exotic ingredients took inspiration from the Whole Hog movement and began cooking even with these strange spoils… And in my opinion, mustard garlic scape pickles are the best of the lot.
Slightly tangy and sharp, mustard garlic scape pickles have a captivating dark green hue. With subtle hints of spices and apple cider vinegar, they are a great addition to your mezze platter or cheese or charcuterie snack board.
Ingredients for Pickle Garlic Scapes:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Pickling salt
- Garlic scapes
- Mixed Pickling Spice
- Red pepper flakes
See recipe card for exact quantities.
- a large canning pot with a lid that is tall enough to immerse your jars in water fully
- a canning rack or a towel to place at the bottom of the pot
- jar lifter
- canning funnel
- canning bubble remover
- saucepan for heating lids
- magnetic lid wand
- plenty of clean kitchen towels
- paper towels
- jars with lids and bands
Directions to make Pickled Garlic Scapes Recipe:
Preparing the Brine:
Start by preparing a boiling water bath and sterilizing two wide-mouth 500ml canning jars. Add the lids in the last 5 minutes.
To make the brine, combine vinegar, water, and pickling salt in a pot. After all the ingredients for the brine are prepared, bring to a boil.
Prepare the Scapes:
When preparing the scapes for pickling, trim the ends of the scapes, both the blossom end and the hard bit that formed at the original cut. Then, cut them into lengths that will fit in your jars - usually in half.
Add the spice and red pepper flakes to each sterilized jar. Pack the trimmed scapes into the jars by stacking the curly parts of the garlic scapes along the jar walls and then pack the straighter ends upright inside. It ends up looking like a curly log cabin.
Starting the Pickling Process:
Slowly pour the brine over the grilled garlic scapes in the jars, leaving some headspace. Gently tap the jars on a towel-lined countertop to help loosen any bubbles, then use a knife to let all the air bubbles disappear. Check the headspace again and add more boiling brine over the garlic scapes if necessary.
Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Let these pickles cure for at least one week before eating.
Mustard pickled garlic scapes make a delicious appetizer and are wonderful served with a variety of accompaniments.
Thinly sliced baguettes or crostini are the perfect vehicle for the garlicky pickled scapes. Top toasted or grilled bread with a few slices of the pickled scapes and a smear of herbed goat cheese for a flavorful bite.
Try pairing them with gluten free lavosh crackers for a unique combination that anyone can enjoy.
The briny pickles also pair nicely with firm, aged cheeses. Try offering assorted cheese cubes like sharp cheddar, Gruyere and manchego alongside small ramekins of the pickled scapes.
For those wanting a heartier snack, smoked salmon is a savory complement to the garlic pickles. Slice and serve the smoked salmon alongside crudités like carrot and celery sticks for dipping in the tangy mustard brine left over from pickling the scapes.
For more garlic scape recipes, try my garlic scape pesto pizza.
FAQ for this Pickle Recipe:
Pickled garlic scapes are a versatile condiment that can be paired with various dishes, and there is more than one way to use garlic scapes. One option is to incorporate them into a salad for a tangy and crunchy addition. They can also be used as a topping for sandwiches or tacos to add a burst of flavor. Another idea is to serve them alongside a cheese and charcuterie board for a unique twist. Additionally, pickled garlic scapes can be enjoyed on their own as a delicious and healthy snack or turned into a garlic scape pesto.
Garlic scapes are not only delicious but also beneficial for our health. They are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. Additionally, eating garlic scapes is a great way to get antioxidants that can help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. One popular way to enjoy garlic scapes is by pickling them. Pickled garlic scapes not only add a unique flavor to dishes but also provide the same health benefits as their fresh counterparts.
Pickled garlic scapes, when properly stored, can last for several months. The pickling process involves preserving the scapes in vinegar or brine, which helps to extend their shelf life. The acidity of the pickling liquid creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria, preventing spoilage. However, it is essential to store the pickled garlic scapes in a cool and dark place. So one way to preserve the garlic scapes is to keep in the refrigerator or a cellar to maintain their quality and flavor for a longer period. Regularly checking for any signs of spoilage, such as mold or off-putting odors, is also advisable to ensure they are safe to consume.
Yes, you can use distilled white vinegar as a substitute for apple cider vinegar for pickled scapes, though this canning recipe uses apple cider vinegar. Distilled white vinegar has a similar acidity level to apple cider vinegar, making it a suitable alternative for preserving and pickling. However, remember that distilled white vinegar lacks the distinctive flavor of apple cider vinegar, so the final pickled garlic scapes might have a slightly different taste. It is always recommended to test the flavor before proceeding with large batches to ensure it meets your preference.
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Pickled garlic scapes with mustard
- 1½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 1½ lb garlic scapes
- 2 tablespoons Mixed Pickling Spice
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Prepare a boiling water bath and sterilize 2 wide-mouth 500ml jars. Add the lids in the last 5 minutes.
- Combine the vinegar, 1½ cups water, and pickling salt in a pot. Bring the brine to a boil.
- 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 jars - usually in half.
- Add 1 tablespoon pickling spice and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes to each sterilized jar. Pack the trimmed scapes into the jars by stacking the curly parts of the garlic scapes along the jar walls and then pack the straighter ends upright inside. It ends up looking like a curly log cabin.
- Slowly pour the hot brine over the garlic scapes in each jar, leaving ½ inch/12 mm headspace. Gently tap the jars on a towel-lined countertop to help loosen any bubbles, then use a knife to let all the air bubbles disappear. Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary.
- Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
- Let these pickles cure for at least 1 week before eating.