Garlic scapes are amazing and have such wide range of culinary uses, but by far, my most favorite way use them is to ferment them. Fermenting garlic scapes takes less than 10 minutes of prep time and once they are ready you will savor every bite!
If you grown garlic you should be able to recognize what scapes are. The are considered the flower of the garlic plant, and if they are left to bloom they will produce garlic seeds which can be planted to grow garlic. Many gardeners will remove the scape once it has made a full loop, allowing the plant’s energy to be focused on growing the garlic bulb verses the flower. But honestly, we love to consume scapes and jump at the chance to remove it.
Once cooked the scapes have a mild garlic flavor which makes them excellent to grill, or you can use them in place of a garlic clove for cooking. Every year we make scape infused olive oil, and our most recent adventure has brought us to fermenting them. Okay, by far (in our opinion) this is the BEST way to use scapes. Lacto-fermented scapes have a very mild pickled taste and they go excellent with whatever you are preparing. Not to mention, fermented foods are the base of good gut health, which in turn creates a healthier, happier you.
We use fermenting caps provided to us by our friends over at FARMcurious, and I am not lying when I say that they make the easiest tools available to ferment with…each kit contains simple well written instructions, and additional help can be found on their website. You’ve gotta love a company that will make sure that the consumer is well educated on their product!
The mason jar size you will need depends on the amount of scapes you have harvested. For eating purpose we like them to be bite size, so we cut them roughly 2 inch long, and pack them tightly into the jar. Make sure that the scape heads are tightly closed and has not yet opened or have begun to blossom.
I like to use pint size jar to ferment with and a simple brine which consists of 2 1/2 teaspoons of crushed pink sea salt, 1 cup of water, and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper; the cayenne pepper is optional and isn’t needed.
Make sure the scapes are fully submerged in your brine, leaving a 1 inch space from the top of the brine to the top of the jar. We use wide mouth glass weight to help keep the product submerged in the brine.
Next, apply your lid and rubber stopper, and place the narrow end of the airlock into the top of the stopper. Your final step will be to remove the airlock lid and fill it half way with water and then place the lid back on. *don’t worry if you didn’t get all this, instructions can be found in the manual of whatever fermenting tool you chose to use*
Allow your fermenting jar to sit in a cool dark spot for about 4 to 6 weeks, remember to check the water level in the jar and the airlock lid often. How long it takes to ferment depends on how warm your home is, some items may ferment in a shorter time, while others may take a bit longer.
Once it is done, I promise you will love it, and if you don’t you can send them our way! The flavor is amazing, and it’s quite upsetting when you realize that you will have to wait and entire year to make this again!