Garlic Scape Vinegar

Recipe and photo by Catie Baumer Schwalb, PitchforkDiaries.com

Ingredients:
1-2 whole garlic scapes, about 12" in length
1 cup light flavored vinegar, such as white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
Glass container
non-metal cap or cover

Note: I like the ratio of 1-2 scapes per cup of vinegar, but you can certainly add more to make the flavor more concentrated. And absolutely double or triple the recipe based on the size of container you are using. Triple the recipe, for example, if using a wine bottle.

Directions:
Sterilize the bottle and cap, either by simmering in hot water on the stove for 10 minutes or washing in the dishwasher right before using. Allow to container and cap to dry thoroughly.

Wash garlic scapes and dry completely. Cut into lengths that will allow the scape to be completely submerged below the level of the vinegar. Any exposed piece of scape not in the vinegar will start to deteriorate and rot.

Gently bruise the scapes, by rolling over slightly with a rolling pin, to release a bit more flavor.

Place the scape pieces in the sterilized container and cover completely with vinegar. Cover with lid, cap or cork.

Store in the refrigerator, or other cool, dark place. The following day, check the level of the vinegar and add more if the level has dropped at all. It is possible that the scapes will absorb some overnight.
Allow to infuse for 10 days to 2 weeks, in a cool, dark place. Strain out original garlic scape pieces, if desired, and replace with fresh ones (if available), primarily for decoration. Will keep for 2-4 months.
Keep vinegar bottle out of sunlight or it will become cloudy.

The acid in the vinegar acts as an inhibitor for bacteria growth, but certainly keep an eye out for changes in color, an off smell, or cloudiness in the bottle and discard if there is a question. Storing the vinegar in the refrigerator, particularly in the summer months, is the safest.

If your herb garden is overflowing, you can certainly add a few sprigs of basil, dill, thyme, or even a dried chili pepper to the bottle for your own personal melange. Experiment, use what is around you, and enjoy.

http://pitchforkdiaries.com/2011/07/13/garlic-scape-vinegar/

Dressing
Herbs