Every time garlic scapes are mentioned on the internet, pickled scapes come up, so I decided to try making them with the rest of my batch. Starting with a recipe I found for habanero garlic-scape pickles, I went for a simple version so I can try the taste. The only problem is that I used up all my scapes; maybe there will be more at the market next Saturday.
Pickled Garlic Scapes
4 pint canning jars and lids, sterilized
Approximately 5 dozen garlic scapes
5 C white vinegar
3/4 C water
1/2 C pickling (or kosher) salt
2 tsp whole peppercorns
minced hot peppers, optional
Make sure the jars and lids are sterilized first. Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a pan and start it heating. Then stuff the scapes in the jars. I found it easiest to wrap the scapes into coils and twist the top end around the rest of it, then pile them in the jar; otherwise they come uncoiled and make life a challenge. If you have a small child around, have them place the coils in the jars; smaller hands would make things easier. Divide the peppercorns between jars and add hot peppers if you like; I used about a teaspoon in one jar. When the vinegar is boiling and the salt has dissolved, pour the vinegar over the scapes in one jar and put the lid on right away - the hot scapes will uncoil and try to escape, making it hard to get a good seal. Repeat. Label and refrigerate for at least 10 days before eating. (Or process in a water bath for 10 minutes, label, and store.)
The biggest deterrent to canning is getting out my canner and heating up the water in it - it takes forever. So for experimental pickles this year, I plan to use the refrigerator method; if I like the pickles, I will can them properly next year. We'll see how these turned out in 10 days.