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So Many Garlic Scapes!

Garlic scapes are a wonderful, and sometimes abundant, treat. When you plant garlic in the fall, you get garlic scapes, the blossom of the garlic bulb, in early to mid summer. Did you know that the whole garlic plant is edible...the bulb is most commonly eaten, but the greens and the blossoms are also delicious.

Normally garlic scapes are used in the place of garlic in any recipe. You just chop up the tender green part of the stem and the blossom as well. The flavour is mild-garlicy, similar to a green onion compaired to a yellow onion.

You can also pickle the tender green stem and the blossom. There are many recipes available online, and you can also use your favourite dill pickle recipe. This time though, I used this recipe:



Makes one pint

1 pound garlic scapes

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorn

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 allspice berry

1 whole clove

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 dried chili pepper

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup water

1 tablespoon pickling salt


Prepare and sterilize your jar, seal and lid.

Combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt is dissolved.

Rinse garlic scapes and cut into 4-inch pieces to fit in the jar.

Pack the garlic scapes into the jar, then add the mustard seeds, black peppercorn, allspice berry, clove, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes or chili pepper.

Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the garlic scapes, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe the rim. Place seal and lid and just fingertip tighten.

Place the jar into your water bath canner, adjust the water level so it is 2-inches above the top of the jar. Bring the canner to a boil, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. 

Remove the jar and place it on a kitchen towel to cool. Check seals and store in a cool, dark location. Allow 2-4 weeks for the garlic scapes to develop their flavor. Once the jar is open, store in the refrigerator for up to 2-weeks.


* * * * *

After making the pickled garlic scapes, I had a bunch of large blossoms left over. Most of them I minced in my food processor and froze them in a freezer bag to use in future recipes like stir fry, pasta sauce and basil pesto.

Something we love to eat, occasionally, is deep fried garlic. I am serious, it is a delicious treat, but as I said, occasionally. Since the blossom is made up of small pieces that are similar to garlic cloves, I thought I would try deep frying the blossoms. They turned out great, but you really have to love garlic!



* * * * *

While we were preparing the tender stems for pickling, I realized that there was a lot of waste left over. The long stem of the flower is quite woody and really not suitable for eating, but is still packed with tons of garlic flavour...what a waste indeed!

But, then I had an idea. Could they stem be used as skewer for kebabs?! Well, let me tell you...they can!!

I cut the stems to about 10" and washed them with soapy water and rinsed them well. Then, I prepared this lamb kebab recipe (I doubled it):


Makes six kebabs

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound ground lamb

1 teaspoon onion powder

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well blended. Form the mixture into 6 balls. Form the meat ball around each skewers. Place the kebabs onto a baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil grate.

Cook the skewers on the preheated grill, turning occasionally, until the lamb has cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Serve with sour cream, Greek yogurt or ranch dressing.

Using the garlic scape stems as skewers emparted a nice garlicy flavour to the kebabs and they didn't need to be soaked like bamboo skewers. 

I served the kebabs with a creamy lemon & dill cucumber salad, sour cream with a hint of mint and the fried garlic blossoms. It was such a good meal, I had to share the details with you! Enjoy!!

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