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Lacto-Fermented {Pickled} Garlic Scapes

July 4, 2012

Fred holding scape bunch

Recently, a friend returned to our fair city for a month of galavanting (/a bit of midwifery) after a year away. Being that she loves fermented things, we thought it would be nice to bring her some of our lacto-fermented garlic scapes to welcome her back. These were an easy solution to our dilemma regarding how to put the final burst of garlic scapes from our garden to use. After scape and brie pizza, lemon and goat cheese orecchiette with scapes, scape and broccoli quiche, and scape and veggie stir fry we were looking for a different way to elevate these glorious, spiraling beauties. I’ve been wanting to hone my lacto-fermenting skills so this provided the perfect opportunity – an abundance of interesting material for a lacto-fermenting experiment! I’m happy to report the results were quite good – the scapes remained crisp but took on a salty brininess, and that distinctive lacto-fermented fizz. Traditional pickling spices worked nicely here but you could certainly branch out, and don’t be afraid to go heavier on the spices – scapes may be mild when raw but pickled they become quite intense and garlicky (read: not first date food)!

pickled scapes in jarpickled garlic scapes Lacto-Fermented {Pickled} Garlic Scapes

Yields one pint

These are a great condiment – we like them on sausages with spicy mustard just as much as on charcuterie and cheese plates.


a dozen or so garlic scapes

1-2 tsp. pickling spices – I used dried coriander seeds, fennel seeds and dill


3 tsp. salt

3 Tbs. brine from another lacto-fermented mixture (I used sauerkraut)


First, sterilize your jar by boiling in water for 10 minutes, adding the lid in the final minute.

Cut your scapes to fit inside your jar, leaving the top 3/4″ for headspace. I cut the relatively straight bottom portions to stuff in the middle of the jar and curled the top flowering portions in longer sections around the edge of the jar. Your jar should be rather stuffed with as many scapes as you can cram in, so long as you leave the headspace.

Next, add your pickling spices, salt and brine, then pour water into the jar to cover the scapes, leaving about a half inch for air at the top. Cover with your steralized lid and screw the top lightly on. Keep at room temperature.

After about two days, unscrew the lid a bit just enough to let some of the gas and fizz escape, then re-screw the lid on finger tight.

After another day, taste your scapes for the first time. If they are your desired level of pickled, refrigerate. Otherwise re-check once a day until you’ve reached your desired taste and then refrigerate.

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