Pickled Green Garlic for Spring

Pickled Green Garlic

I always get a burst of energy when springtime rolls around. I find myself ready to tackle projects of all kinds. Spring cleaning comes to mind. What about springtime pickling and canning? These are typically considered a late in the season activity– a way of holding on to the last of summer’s great bounty. However I believe that this recipe for Pickled Green Garlic is a lesson in the value of holding on to the energetic charms of spring. Which are far more fleeting and delicate– but no less delightful.

Though I chose green garlic in this example. There are plenty of good candidates this time of year. Spring onions, ramps (depending where you live) and sugar snap peas are all well worth preserving. Pickling the best of the season allows you to hold onto spring, indefinitely if done properly.

Pickled Green Garlic is simple. I understand that the canning process can be intimidating. Who wants to poison their whole family with a bad batch of pickled peas? But if you follow the instructions you’re sure to succeed. If you are still unsure skip the “canning” and store them tightly covered in the refrigerator up to one month. They’ll be fine for eating. Besides, they rarely last a month anyway.

Pickled Green Garlic

You wont find Pickled Green Garlic in the aisle with the Vlasics. Pickled Green Garlic is hardly a mainstay. But there are plenty of great uses for it. You can chop it up and toss it in salads. The brine is a great addition to that salad’s dressing too. It can a add a bright note to simple pasta sauces, or you can curl some up on top of buttered baguette slices and enjoy it tapas style.

You’ll notice my pickling “juice” for Pickled Green Garlic is fairly simple. I’ve used a mild Champagne vinegar and just a few spices and herbs. I prefer stronger tastes for those later season vegetables. I think that spring produce requires a light touch. Save the cider and red wine vinegars for pickled peppers and okra. Big bold dill is better appreciated with crunchy cucumbers. You get the idea, don’t let my rules stop you from experimenting however. The best of the spring season will be gone before you know it. GREG

Pickled Green Garlic

Pickled Green Garlic Shoots 

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You may skip the canning aspect of this recipe and store the jarred garlic in its liquid in the refrigerator up to 1 month.

green garlic shoots


  • 1 cup Champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon whole anise seeds
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 large fresh basil leaves
  • 10 ounce trimmed fresh green garlic shoots (with the greens and some roots attached)


Sterilize 1 (16 oz) jar with its lid according to the manufacturer’s instructions (or 2 or 3 smaller jars). Meanwhile, stir together vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander seeds, anise seeds, peppercorns, red-pepper flakes, basil, and 2 cups water in a large sauce pan sized to fit the onions laying flat in as close to a single layer as possible. Bring to a boil. Add garlic shoots; return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely in the liquid, about 1 ½ hours.

Carefully gather the garlic shoots into a bundle all facing the same direction. Place them in the prepared jar, root end first, then swirl the greens inside. Fill the jar with as much liquid as necessary to completely submerge. Spoon in as much of the seeds and basil as you can. Secure the jars with the sterilized lids & bands. Place the jars back in the sterilizer or pot of water and process by boiling for 15 minutes. Remove carefully with tongs. Cool, then store in a dry place for at least 3 weeks before opening.

Once opened they can be refrigerated in their liquid in an airtight container up to 1 month.