Farm To Table | Sauces / Dips / Dressings

Garlic Scape Relish

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Garlic scape relish is incredibly easy and a great way to preserve lots of garlic scapes in one recipe. Great on burgers, hot dogs and more.

Close up of a jar of relish.Pin
Garlic Scape Relish

If you have ever planted garlic, then you know that in the early spring to late spring, you’ll have to harvest lots of scapes. It can be hard to preserve them for use throughout the year. Not with this relish.

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It’s so easy to make, only takes a few minutes to put together and only about 30 minutes to cook down. No continuous stirring like with jams either. So hands on time is only about an ten minutes and total time is less than an hour.

What are garlic scapes?

Garlic scapes (sometimes referred to as a pigtail) are the flower bud and the stalk of the flower (botanically the peduncle) of the garlic plant. They are curly, green and originate directly from the bulb.

If the garlic “scapes” are not removed from the leaves, the flower will take nutrients from the bulb, so that the bulb of the garlic will be smaller. Therefore, it is important to break or cut the garlic scapes off, before they flower.

In upstate NY they emerge from the beginning of June to the beginning of July. Remove them as soon as you see them emerge for best results. Continue to check for them for at least a few weeks, in case you missed any, or new ones emerge.

Pick the scapes as soon as they curl once. They are most tender when they are harvested young.

You can eat the whole garlic scape, including the flower bud. They have a more mild flavor than garlic and they are also safe to eat in small quantities for a low fodmap diet, unlike the bulb.

Curly garlic scapes on barnwood board.Pin
Curly garlic scapes

Where can you find scapes?

They used to be incredibly hard to find. Now they are becoming more common. Find them at farmer’s markets, farm stands and in some specialty Asian markets.

What you need

  • garlic scapes
  • onion
  • bell pepper – red bell pepper will give you the best presentation but you can really use any color.
  • kosher salt
  • sugar
  • turmeric
  • apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • dry mustard
  • black pepper
  • celery seed
Ingredients for garlic scape relish. See recipe below for details.Pin
Ingredients for garlic scape relish.

How to make it

Step One

Chop scapes into smaller pieces. Add to food processor bowl.

Chopped garlic scapes in food processor bowl.Pin
Chop scapes in small pieces.

Step Two

Pulse until pieces are fine but not pureed.

Small chunk of garlic scapes.Pin
Pulse until pieces are fine but not pureed.

Step three

Process bell pepper into small pieces.

Chopped bell peppers in food processor bowl.Pin
Process peppers after the scapes.

Step Four

Process onions.

Chopped onions in food processor bowl.Pin
Process onions after the scapes.

Step Five

Add vegetables to a plastic bag or bowl.

Vegetables and salt in storage bag.Pin
Add all of the vegetables to a bag.

Step Six

Mix well.

Let the bag sit overnight on the counter.

Vegetables in storage bag mixed up.Pin
Mix the salt into the vegetables.

Step Seven

Place the vegetables in a fine mesh strainer.

Rinse salt off well.

Add the rinsed veggies and the remaining ingredients to a large pot. Mix well.

Spices added to the vegetables in a large pot.Pin
Rinse. Add to a pot with remaining ingredients.

Step Eight

Cook the mixture over medium heat, down until most of the juices have evaporated and it is relish consistency.

Cooked down relish in pot.Pin
Cook the mixture down.

To can it

Step Nine

Ladle hot relish into hot jars using a canning funnel.

Canning funnel with relish in jar.Pin
Ladle into jars.

Wipe rims with a damp paper towel.

Remove air bubbles with a bubble remover or a wooden chopstick.

Center lids. Screw on jars fingertip tight.

Woman's hand wiping rims of jars.Pin
Wipe rims.

Process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes. Turn off canning pot. Allow jars to cool for 5-10 minutes in the hot water.

Carefully remove jars with a jar lifter to the counter.

Allow them to cool 12-24 hours. Test lid for seal. (If lid flexes up or down the jar hasn’t sealed and should be stored in the refrigerator).

Jars of garlic scape relish with fresh scapes.Pin

How to use this relish

  • Top hot dogs or burgers or sausages with relish.
  • Add relish to potato salad, egg salad, chicken or tuna salad or macaroni salad.
  • Use as a condiment for cheese trays, charcuterie boards and grazing platters.
  • Add to deviled eggs.
  • Add to ketchup or mayonnaise for a tasty new condiment.
  • Substitute it for cucumber relish in Thousand Island Dressing.

More recipes for preserving garlic scapes

Helpful tools

Three jars of relish on black background.Pin

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Garlic scape relish Pinterest image with text overlay.Pin

Garlic Scape Relish

Garlic scape relish is incredibly easy and a great way to preserve lots of garlic scapes in one recipe. Great on burgers, hot dogs and more.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Processing time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 176 tablespoons
Calories: 32kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $6


For Brining

  • 10 cups garlic scapes
  • 3 cups onions
  • 4 red bell peppers
  • 5 tablespoons Salt

For Relish


For Brining

  • Chop garlic scapes into pieces. Add to food processor bowl. Process until fine pieces. Peel the onions and quarter. Process them until fine. Deseed the red bell pepper. Process them too.
    10 cups garlic scapes, 3 cups onions, 4 red bell peppers
  • Mix chopped vegetables in a large bowl. or a plastic storage bag. Add salt. Mix well. Let sit on counter or in refrigerator overnight. See important notes below!
    5 tablespoons Salt

For Relish

  • Next morning, rinse mixture well, with cold water, in a colander.
  • Add to large pot. Add remaining ingredients.
    3 cups Sugar, 3 cups apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • Bring to boil. Low boil for about 30 minutes, until relish consistency.
  • Pack and seal in hot jars. Refrigerate for at least 6 months.
  • For longer storage, and to make shelf stable, process pint jars in water bath canning pot for 15 minutes, adjusting for elevation.

Canning Instructions

  • Once the relish is at a good consistency, heat jars and start your boiling-water canner.
  • Pack hot finished relish into hot jars.
  • Remove air bubbles.
  • Wipe rims of jars with damp paper towel to remove debris.
  • Center warmed lid on jar. Screw on band fingertip tight.
  • Process jars for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. (See notes below for altitude adjustment.
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Note: One batch makes 5 1/2 pints of relish
Note: Grate vegetables in a food processor with grater attachment, for faster preparation!
Use a non reactive or plastic colander. Stainless steel can be ruined by the salt and ruin the relish!
Store opened jars in the fridge.
If you don’t want to can it, you can store jars, unopened in the fridge for about 6 months.
Adjustment for altitude
0-3000 feet above sea level process 15 minutes
3000-6000 feet above sea level process 20 minutes
above 6000 feet process 25 minutes


Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.004g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.2mg
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Originally published July 7, 2022.

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  1. In the description of how to make there is cornstarch, but it isn’t listed on the recipe. Do I need to add it to the relish. Also, in the notes section it mentions zucchini, but it isn’t in the ingredients. Can you make this recipe using zucchini instead of garlic scapes? Thanks.

  2. 5 stars
    This is incredible on burgers and hot dogs. I’ll be making this every year with my scapes. Thanks

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