Garlic Scape Relish is made with fresh early summer garden grown garlic scapes. With just the right amount of vinegar and a touch of dill, it’s perfect on hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, and mixed into macaroni salad.
Looking for a new flavour for your next backyard barbecue? Forget ketchup and mustard, Garlic Scape Relish is where it’s at! Packed with dill-icious garlic flavour, it’s like garlic dill pickles on steroids. It is outstanding on Smoked Bison Burgers or as a flavour boost for macaroni and potato salads.
Garden Fresh Garlic
Growing your own garlic is one of life’s simple pleasures. Nothing compares to slicing into amazing fresh garlic right out of the ground. The flavour and freshness is far superior to any garlic you can buy from a grocery store. There are two kinds of garlic (soft and hard necked) but only one provides two harvests during the growing season.
Hard necked garlic is planted in the fall and begins growing as soon as the snow clears in the Spring. The bulbs split open and green shoots burst forth. As the garlic grows taller, Spring turns to Summer and a thick tubular shoot, or scape appears from between the green leaves.
What Are Garlic Scapes?
The scape is a stalk that holds the flowering body of the garlic. It grows straight at first but eventually begins to coil. While it grows, it uses up a fair amount of plant energy in order to produce the stalk, flower, then seeds.
In order for the bulb to reach it’s full potential in size and flavour, the scape must be cut off. This allows the plant energy to shift towards the bulb (the second and final harvest). As a rule, garlic scapes should be harvested once the centre stalk is fully formed and begins to spiral. To harvest, cut the stalk as far down as you can without damaging the leaves.
What Do Garlic Scapes Taste Like?
Luckily, the solid scape stalk is tender and quite delicious when cooked. The flavour is a combination of onions, scallions and garlic, though the flavour is milder and ‘greener’ than just garlic on it’s own. There are so many ways to enjoy this garlicky treat!
How to Find and Store Garlic Scapes
If you aren’t able to grow your own garlic, scapes can sometimes be difficult to come by because they are around for such a short time. Some places you may find garlic scapes are:
- Asian grocery stores in the produce section.
- Farmer’s Markets.
- Direct from a farmer. Last year I bought 9 lbs of garlic scapes just so I could make several batches of this Garlic Scape Relish.
Once you find them, scapes are quite hardy and will keep for a few weeks in the fridge crisper or many months in the freezer.
Great Ways to Eat Garlic Scapes
Garlic scapes are very versatile and can be used in the same way as garlic and scallions (green onions). To use, trim off the bulb and wash the stem. Chop it up and it’s ready to be steamed, grilled, roasted, puréed, dried, sautéed, and pickled. Though they can be eaten raw, though the larger stalks may become quite tough. Some great uses for Garlic Scapes are:
- in a stir fry
- chopped in an omelette
- in soups and stews
- added to hummus
- mixed with butter to make a compound butter
- roasted and eaten as a vegetable
- used in a salad dressing
- in a pesto then used on baked potatoes, macaroni or potato salad, or in a pasta dish.
- pickled whole or as a Garlic Scape Relish
How To Make Garlic Scape Relish
This recipe is a bit of work. If you have a food processor, I highly recommend using it to cut the onions and scapes. To simplify things, I’ve split the entire process into three distinct steps.
- Prepping the Garlic Scape Relish
- Getting canning equipment ready
- Hot Water Processing
To prep the Garlic Scape Relish, blitz the onions and scapes in a food processor in batches until they are your preferred relish size. Place them in a large pot or Dutch oven, then add the remainder of ingredients omitting gochugaru if you don’t want spicy relish.
Next, get the canning equipment ready. Fill a hot water canner with hot water, add the rack, and set it to boil. Wash and inspect the jars, metal rings, and lids. Place the jars upside down in a tray of water placed in a 225 F oven for at least 10 minutes. Heat the metal rings and lids in a pot of simmering water.
Once the equipment is ready, slowly simmer the relish for at least ten minutes or until it has softened slightly. Add extra vinegar if it begins to look dry.
Filling and Processing Garlic Scape Relish
To process, take two hot jars out of the oven, fill them with hot relish and top up with a bit of vinegar (if needed), leaving about 1 cm of head space. Lightly tap the jars on the counter top to remove any air bubbles and add more vinegar, if needed.
Wipe the jar rim, top with a lid and fasten the ring just slightly but not too tightly. Place the jar in the rack of the hot water canner. Repeat with remaining relish. Once there are enough jars to fill the canner, process for 15 minutes or more at a rolling boil, depending on your elevation. Here in Calgary, Alberta I processed these 250 ml jars for 25 minutes.
Remove jars from the boiling water and allow to cool. Repeat the process with any remaining jars of relish. Allow to cool and listen for the characteristic lid ‘pop’ which means the jars have sealed. Do not disturb for 12 hours.
How to Store Garlic Scape Relish
Store sealed jars of scape relish in a cool, dark basement for up to a year. Once opened, store for up to two months in a refrigerator. Do not consume if the relish has any visible mold, ‘off’ smell, or effervescence. When in doubt, throw it out.