Fermented Garlic Scape Recipe

One of my favorite veggies to use from the garden are delicious garlic scapes. There are a lot of ways you can use them, but one of my favorite ways is to make fermented garlic scape paste!

garlic scape ferment rough and tumble farmhouse

What are Garlic Scapes?

Garlic scapes are the start of the flowering bloom of a garlic plant. The scape should be removed from the garlic plant at a certain stage of development. If you do not take the scape, the garlic bulb will be smaller. This is because the garlic plant will put more energy into its flower than into growing the bulb. If you pluck the scape off, then the plant will focus its energy on growing the bulb larger instead. I have a whole blog post and youtube video about harvesting scapes.

when to harvest garlic scapes rough and tumble farmhouse

One last note on scapes. Only hard neck varieties will produce scapes.

Where to Buy Garlic Scapes?

If you aren’t growing your own garlic, check your local health food store or co-op for scapes May-June depending on where you live. Farmers Markets are also a great option to pick up scapes.

Scapes keep for a really long time if refrigerated so odds are good you might still find some available even later in the summer.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.

Tools Needed to Ferment Scapes

Fermentation of any veggie requires a few basic items.

  • Mason Jar, Crock, or similar vessel
  • Weight of some kind to keep the fermenting veggies under their brine (this can even be a clean rock!)
  • A way to cover the fermentation vessel to keep out bugs and such but allow gases to release. Something like a light flour sack towel would work.
  • Tamper – A flat bottomed smooshing stick for pressing the scapes into the vessel
  • Food Processor– You COULD dice these babies fine or try grating them by hand but the food processor makes it much easier.
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Rubber Spatula

This year I decided to treat myself and picked up some specialty fermentation tops, basically airlocks, from Masontops. I also grabbed their “Pickle Pebbles”, which are smooth glass weights for weighing down your ferment.

They come in wide or regular mouth which is nice, and honestly, they make the whole process so slick.

There are a few companies that make these items I grabbed these as our local Fleet Supply had them in stock and they seemed to do their job well.

fermentation of scapes rough and tumble farmhouse

How to Ferment Garlic Scapes

One of my favorite books is Fermented Vegetables by Kristen K. and Christopher Shockey and that is where this recipe comes from.

This recipe calls for one pound of scapes. I only had around half that from my little garlic patch so I simply halved the recipe. If you check out the video below, you’ll see that 1/2 pound fits easily into a half-pint jar. It doesn’t seem like much, but this paste packs a wollop. A dab’ll do you, as they say.


  • 1 Pound Garlic Scapes
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp Unrefined Sea Salt

How to Make Fermented Garlic Scape Paste

Begin by washing the scapes thoroughly. Give them a good shake to wring out the excess water.

Place your scapes on a cutting board and slice off the top stringy part, leaving the bulb in place if it is still thick and juicy feeling. If the bulb is pretty dried out like mine (these had been in the fridge for a while) then cut the bulb off as well. Feed to chickens or your compost pile.

garlic scape being processed rough and tumble farmhouse

Chop the stems into roughly one-inch pieces. Toss them in the food processor and blend them until they are sort of a rough pesto consistency.

Add in the juice and salt, blend again.

Use the rubber spatula to remove the scape paste and press it into your mason jar or crock. Use your tamper to smoosh it in there until you get a nice layer of liquid forming on the top.

scape paste rough and tumble farmhouse

Weigh down the paste so everything is beneath the juicy surface.

Use a clean towel or paper towel to wipe the inner sides and rim of the jar, making sure you clean up any stray bits of scape.

Cover with a pickle pipe like I mentioned above or with a clean flour sack type towel.

Keep in a cool place out of sunlight for anywhere from 5-10 days.

Check the ferment daily to make sure the scapes are staying under the brine.

Around day five (could be more or less depending on how hot your house is) you can start checking it and tasting it. Once you reach the desired tanginess you are set!

Store in a tightly lidded jar in the fridge for up to a year.

fermenting scapes process rougand tumble farmhouseh

How to Enjoy Fermented Garlic Scapes Paste

Now that you have this incredible paste, what should you do with it? Here are some ideas to get you started!

  • Mix with cream cheese for a yummy spread
  • Add to salad dressings
  • Combine with yogurt and other seasonings for a zesty dip
  • Toss (but don’t cook!) in your stir fry
  • Eat it right off a spoon and then kiss your spouse

Watch and Learn

Check out the whole fermented scape paste process over on the YouTube Channel! Then let me know in the comments what delicious ways you plan to use scapes!

YouTube player

Pin it for Later

pinterest graphic for fermented garlic scapes

Similar Posts