Lin and I first tried our hand at pickling a few years ago while I was working at Keith’s Farm. Keith specializes in garlic, and it turns out that 70,000 garlic plants produce 70,000 garlic scapes. A bit more than you can sell even at the best farmers’ markets. So we figured why not pickle a few?
For those of you who have not tried garlic scapes yet, they are tasty morsels of garlic that grow from the top of the garlic plant. They look a like an emerging flower although they produce little garlic bulbils rather than seeds. Most farmers cut these off as they appear so that the garlic plants produce bigger bulbs.
Lin and I have found that scapes with slightly larger buds make better pickles though. So this year asked Keith to reserve us 25-30lbs of larger scapes.
We wanted a lot so that we could experiment with our process and recipes. We ended up trying out five different brines. Some were simply spiced with dill and mustard seeds and others were elaborate concoctions.
The nearly 30 lbs of scapes produced about 20 pints of pickles.
We are still trying out the different varieties and giving them time to sit, but so far our favorites are brined in coriander and hot peppers. We are hoping to get our recipe down pat so that we make these scapes for market one day. Let us know if you have any flavor or name suggestions.