Fermented Garlic Scapes

How to make fermented garlic scapes

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Fermented garlic scapes are succulent, salty, and deliciously garlicky. They are perfect on pasta, delicious in a salad, or served with crackers and cheese. See the section above for more serving options.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups of garlic scapes (or as many as you can find)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (non-iodized)
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water (chlorine-free)
  • 2 Tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar (see notes)


  1. Decide whether you want to pickle the scapes whole or dice them into bite-sized bits. Keeping the curls whole will require more brine. The brine above should be enough for a pint-sized (1/2 L) jar of whole garlic scape curls.
  2. Mix the salt, water, and apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a jar.
  3. If you are keeping the curls whole, nest them together and carefully pack them into the jar. Otherwise, simply add the diced garlic scapes to a jar.
  4. Use a weight to keep the scapes below the brine, and add more water if required to keep the scapes submerged.
  5. Place the jar somewhere cool and dark (a kitchen cupboard is perfect). Let them ferment for 1-2 weeks. It will depend on your taste. The scapes will soften and become milder the longer they ferment.


  • Apple cider vinegar is the starter culture for this ferment. So it’s important to use raw, unpasteurized vinegar with a mother. You can also use strong brewed kombucha, sauerkraut juice, or a purchased vegetable starter.  While vegetables don’t need a culture to ferment, I have found that scapes usually need a little boost to get them started.
  • I usually ferment in a fido to prevent contamination with this very special crop. You could also use a mason jar with a pickle-pipe lid.  Or if you want to go low-tech, just cover your ferment with a clean cloth. As long as the scapes remain below the salty brine, mold won’t be able to contaminate them.
  • I have to give credit to a local fermenting maven for inspiring me to ferment my scapes!