If you’re currently growing enough garlic to feed your family, you’re probably growing enough scapes to feed an army. Many people ask me, what are scapes? Scapes are those wild-looking …
If you’re currently growing enough garlic to feed your family, you’re probably growing enough scapes to feed an army. Many people ask me, what are scapes? Scapes are those wild-looking tangles of stalks that you’ll see this time of year at farmers’ markets. Another frequent question is what should you do with them all? A great (and easy) way to enjoy scapes is to stick them in the air fryer or on the grill for 10-15 minutes until nice and soft. Hit them with some flaky salt and a squeeze of lemon and it’s the perfect afternoon snack.
Pestos are also a popular scape recipe, and if you leave out the parmesan, remember to put your pesto into an ice cube tray, freeze, and pop into soups and stews for a garlicky kick throughout the year. And don’t forget to fold some chopped and sautéed garlic scapes into your next frittata or scrambled eggs.
My uncle, Frank DeMayo of Liberty, grows about 600 bulbs of garlic. His garden is astonishing and reminds me of the garden at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, (a very well-renowned restaurant and farm, if you’re unfamiliar with it).
While looking at his "Calvin-Klein"-like garden, I was handed, no joke, an entire garbage bagful of over 200 garlic scapes. Knowing that I will never get through them all myself, I began thinking of more ways to utilize them throughout the year. Jarring produce is always a good idea to do so.
If you’ve ever been to the Callicoon Wine Merchant (please see last week’s column for review), you will notice pickled garlic scapes garnishing several dishes. Pickled scapes snap almost like a green bean, and taste like extra garlic-y dilly beans too! To make, you will need:
1 pound garlic scapes (3-5 bunches if you’re buying them from the farmers’ market)
2-3 teaspoons dill seed or a few sprigs of fresh dill
1 teaspoon whole peppercorn
1 teaspoon whole coriander (or swap the peppercorn and coriander for 2 teaspoons of pickling spice)
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
Trim each end of your scapes off, removing the blossoms and tough bottom ends (they should be about 6 inches long).
Pack the scapes into pint or tall pint and a half mason jars. Add 1 teaspoon of dill seed or a few sprigs of fresh dill.
I also add in 1 teaspoon pickling spice per jar (or 1/2 tsp peppercorn and 1/2 tsp coriander). For spicy garlic scapes, add 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.
Mix your water, cider vinegar, and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Pour the hot vinegar brine over the garlic scapes in mason jars, filling within 1/2 inch of the rim. Seal with the water bath canner and wait for at least 2-6 weeks.
Be patient, it will be worth it.
Caire Stabbert is an accomplished cook who loves to try new recipes. While she does enjoy eating at restaurants, she also loves to whip up a good meal at home. Claire gets some of her cooking inspiration from her grandfather and grandmother, Fred and Shirley Stabbert as well as Great Grandma Nellie.
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