I'll get photos posted up later (riiiiiiight - you've heard that before, at least lately!) but I want to get this information posted so those of you who have purchased garlic scapes in abundance during their short season can preserve them to use year-round.
Special Note: a woman stopped by our table at the Ann Arbor market yesterday to tell everyone within earshot to "Buy now! These will keep in your refrigerator for months!" First of all, I just love it when someone else is marketing our product for us. :-) In fact, come to think of it, I know I have done that myself at other vendors' stalls, too (although perhaps not quite as loudly!). However, I cannot vouch for the scapes staying fresh "for months" as ours have never stayed in the refrigerator (or on the counter - another recommendation from a buyer that I would be reluctant to try) that long in past years. Having said that,, I think I will hold some of our scapes fresh in a loose plastic bag in the veggie bin of my refrigerator this year to test out the length of time they are still usable.
So here is a copy of the information we handed out this week at the farmers' markets for both freezing garlic scapes (easy as can be to do) and also for making pickled garlic scapes. We held enough of our scapes back to make pesto, pickles, and freeze. We'll enjoy taking the time to have a preserving session for ourselves this weekend so we can savor the fruits of our labor over the coming year. :-)
Freezing Garlic Scapes
Chop raw garlic scapes to any length desired and pop them in a freezer bag, squeezing as much excess air out of the bag as possible. Store in the freezer, no blanching is required if they have been harvested when young and tender, now ready to use to sauté with kale or other greens, put in soups, or stir-fry all winter long.
Pickled Garlic Scapes
1 pound or more of scapes, whole (trim to length of quart jar if needed)
3 cups vinegar
5 cups water
¼ cup kosher salt
1 tbsp curry powder in each quart jar (if desired)
Other herbs to taste: basil & oregano are very good plus chopped cayenne or jalapeno pepper to taste.
Boil the water, vinegar & salt solution. Pack hot jars with whole scapes, then curry powder, and then the brine. Put on lids, place in a hot water canner and boil for 45 minutes.
Leave at least 2 weeks before serving to get best flavor. Makes 3 quarts.
Dick’s Pretty Good Garlic at Dyer Family Organic Farm, Ann Arbor, MI
“Shaping the future one clove at a time” - www.365DaysofGarlic.com (coming soon)
"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row, and clove by clove, too!"
Diana Dyer, MS, RD