Sunday, June 22, 2008

And now for the tip...

I have waxed amorously about the generosity of the season’s young garlic plant – the gentleness of its bulb; scented quality of its root hairs and edible possibility of its tender stalk. Now though the next phase has emerged. Its flower bulb has arisen from its stalk potential waiting to flower and seed. I am gladly truncating that process and hording these buds redolent, and chopping them up. Though I have also secured some away, my first pickle of the season. It is the second year I have pickled these buds – last as an experiment this year as a desire. I found myself judiciously fishing out those now briny, garlicky tips and adding them to pilafs, stir-frys and stews.

So, the start of my puttn’ up has begun…In the coming few months my freezer, refrigerator and cupboards will start filling up with the foods that will sustain and inform my foods of winter.

Pickled Garlic Scapes
1 pound garlic scapes (the unopened flower bud of the garlic)
3/4-cup kosher salt
3 cups water
3-1/4 cups white distilled vinegar

In a one-quart saucepan bring the salt and water to the boil to dissolve the salt. Once the salt has dissolved add one cup of the vinegar.

Sterilize a two-quart glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Firmly pack the garlic scapes into the jar, and pour over the water solution. Then pour over the remaining vinegar. If the garlic is not completely submerged in water-vinegar top the jar off with some extra vinegar. Secure the lid (if the lid is metal line the rim of the jar with a few layers of plastic wrap), and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

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