On our homestead, we plant our cherished garlic in fall and patiently wait for the pigtail harvest in late spring.
Garlic scapes or pigtails are the undeveloped flower that draw energy away from the bulb. To increase the size of our garlic bulbs at harvest we pick off the flowers when they develop in Spring. Scapes taste like green onions but with a mild garlic flavor. We love them chopped in salads, tossed into stir-fry and mixed into meatloaf.
We grow a lot of garlic and the pigtails begin adding up in late Spring. To enjoy garlic scapes months after harvest, we ferment a big batch of this easy garlic scapes relish that is not only garlicky but also spicy and delicious.
Spicy Garlic Flower (ScapeS) Relish
2 cups chopped garlic scapes
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 cups distilled water
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preparation: Chop fresh garlic scapes into 1 inch pieces. In a bowl, mix chopped scapes, lemon peel and red pepper flakes. Fill a canning jar with the relish scapes mix leaving 1/2 inch head space. Dissolve salt into distilled water. Once salt is dissolved, pour it over the relish mix. Keep relish submerged under the salt brine to prevent any mold from forming.
Loosely cover jar to allow breathing and store in a cool location away from direct sunlight. Allow relish mix to ferment 2 to 3 weeks before moving and storing in the refrigerator.
Use relish as a condiment on potatoes and eggs, toss in salads and pasta dishes and use to marinade meats,chicken and fish when grilling or roasting. If you love garlic, find some garlic scapes and ferment this relish.