Last fall, I planted an entire raised bed of Italian softneck garlic. Quite a few of my bulbs were left in the ground too long, so they were starting to split. Knowing they wouldn’t keep for months like the good bulbs (which are braided and hanging in my kitchen), I decided to pickle them. After letting them fully cure for about six weeks, I decided they were ready to pickle this weekend.
I got this recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine; and I adjusted the amount of garlic to fill the jars and specified the wine and chili peppers.
- 14-15 large bulbs of garlic, separated and peeled
- 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup chardonnay (or other dry, white wine)
- 1 Tablespoon pickling salt
- 1 Tablespoon white sugar
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 5 dried cayenne peppers (optional)
- 5 half-pint (8 0z) mason jars with lids and rings
1. Sterilize jars, lids, and rings.
2. In a large stainless steel or ceramic pot, combine vinegar, wine, salt, sugar, and oregano. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and boil gently for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
3. If using cayenne peppers, add one to each jar. Pack jars with garlic, leaving a half-inch head space. Fill jars with pickling liquid to half-inch head space. Remove air bubbles and adjust head space if necessary. Wipe rims and apply lids and rings. Tighten lightly.
4. Process in water bath canner, with cover on, at full boil for 35 minutes. (The book stated 10 minutes, but the USDA recommends 35 minutes.)
5. Turn off heat, remove cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Then remove from the canner to cool on a towel for 24 hours. After 24 hours, check the lids to be sure they sealed. If you can press on the centers and they don’t move, the seals are good. Otherwise, put the jar in the refrigerator for immediate use.
Pickled garlic is a great way to get your garlic during cold and flu season, but it’s also a great addition to salads or other recipes.
DISCLAIMER: If canned incorrectly, clostridium botulinum is a real and dangerous risk! Sanctuary Gardener is not responsible for how this recipe is used, the use of poor canning practices, or canning errors. Please visit the site for the National Center for Home Food Preservation for more information on canning and preserving.