Quick pickled scapes

Small batch treat yields big flavour!

While I am not a huge fan of the taste of raw scapes (the curly green tops of garlic plants), I love them once they’re cooked a bit or, better yet, pickled in a pungent brine. Quick pickles are fun to make because you can prepare just a jar or two at a time and since they are stored in the refrigerator, you don’t have to process the jars in a hot water bath for safe longer term storage at room temperature. You can play around with the seasonings – adding sugar, for example – to suit your taste; I really like this simple combination of cider vinegar, salt and Chinese five spice blend. I think these pickles would be a great addition to lots of Asian dishes like Bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwiches) or even this yummy Asian salad with seared tuna.


Pickled scapes have a bold, bright flavour that will liven up all sorts of dishes. They’d be great on a charcuterie platter as well!


  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) water
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) coarse kosher salt
  • 1 small bunch scapes, washed and trimmed of discoloured or withered bits
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) Chinese five-spice blend*

 *In Ottawa, you can purchase excellent 5 spice blend at Cardamom and Cloves.


  • Wash and dry three 8 ounce (250 mL) canning jars.
  • In a saucepan, combine the water, vinegar and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring, until salt is dissolved.
  • While brine is heating, cut scapes into pieces approximately 2 – 3 inches in length. Pack the scapes tightly into the canning jars, sprinkling the five-spice powder into the jars as you do so.
  • Pour the hot brine over the scapes in the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch (.4 cm) of the top of the jar.
  • With a clean finger or spoon, push back any scapes that are trying to leap out of the jar.
  • Seal the jars with clean lids.
  • Let cool for 30 minutes then refrigerate. The scapes will be ready to enjoy in 24 hours but should be consumed within the month.

Makes three 8 oz jars.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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