I love using seasonal ingredients to make my ferments. This is a special time of year because it is the only time garlic scapes are available and they are the perfect veggie to pickle. Full of flavor and also beautiful, they lend themselves well to being lacto-fermented and put into your favorite dishes, like on a pizza or in a bloody mary. I call them 'pickled' because they are preserved in a brine, but there is no vinegar added, as the lacto-fermentation process is what preserves them. Just a nice salt brine and some spices, and you are ready to ferment your scapes!
This is the basic brine that would be used in pickling cucumbers, so it is higher in salt than brine used for some other vegetables, but less than that used in kim chi. I got the ratio for the brine from the great book Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey, which is one of my go-to books when I am looking to try a new vegetable ferment. If you are interested in fermenting at all, this is a must buy! I mixed up the spice mixture to make it my own, which you could do as well if you want to try different flavor combinations or just leave them plain and let the scape flavor speak for itself.
Pickled Garlic Scapes
Makes 1 quart
For the brine (ratio of 3/4 cup salt to 1 gallon water):
1 quart water
3 Tbs salt
10-20 garlic scapes, depending on size, enough to pack in a quart jar
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 Tbs dried dill, or 2 Tbs fresh dill
Optional: 1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes
Dissolve the salt in warm water, and let cool to room temperature.
Trim the woody ends off of the scapes, as well as any tops that have large flower bulbs on them.
Pack whole into a quart-sized glass jar. Add spices.
Fill the jar with the brine, leaving 1/2" headspace at the top. Ensure that the scapes and spices stay submerged in the brine to prevent mold.
Let ferment for 5-7 days, then transfer to the fridge for storage.
Brine & Broth
I am a gut health-focused nutritionist and online health coach based in Southwest Wisconsin. My recipes and philosophies center around traditional, nutrient-dense foods that support robust gut health.