Garlic Scapes Pesto is the perfect way to use up garlic scapes—currently abundant at the Farmers’ Market. This is a delicious, verdant sauce that’s perfect on pasta or for topping soups, dipping bread—and much more.
Garlic scapes pesto: first, what are garlic scapes?!
Garlic scapes are gnarly, twisted-looking beasties that appear at farmers’ markets during late Spring and early Summer. They’re the green shoot that grows from the garlic plant before the garlic bulbs are ripe.
Garlic scapes are a delicious seasonal variation in any dish for which you’d normally use garlic or scallions. In fact, in taste and texture, they taste as if garlic and scallions had a baby. Here’s what they look like (sliced and whole, on a cutting board with tomatoes and sliced sweet peppers):
In general, pesto (and garlic scapes pesto in particular) is an incredibly easy sauce to make. I like to toast my pine nuts, so that’s a bit of prep. Otherwise, there’s some rough chopping and lemon juicing, and then everything is thrown into the food processor for a blitz. That’s it!
I always save one portion of this garlic scapes pesto in my freezer to pull out in the deepest, darkest depths of Winter to remind me of everything I love about Spring and Summer. I hope you love it too!
I’m linking my Garlic Scapes Pesto recipe up with:
- #CookBlogShare, a great food blogger recipe-share at Recipes Made Easy.
- #RecipeOfTheWeek hosted by A Mummy Too.
- #BrillBlogPosts, a link party with a variety of lifestyle reads hosted by Honest Mum.
This delightful pesto incorporates garlic scapes rather than the garlic cloves that are normally used. The result is a milder but more complex, verdant sauce that you can use on pasta, salads, as a garnish on soups, or even spread on a slice of crusty bread.
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
- 1 cup garlic scapes sliced (around 10 scapes)
- 1/2 cup basil or parsley (or a mix)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Add the garlic scapes to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds
Add in the pine nuts and pulse for an additional 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.
With the food processor running, drizzle the olive oil into the mixture. Add in your basil and/or parsley and lemon juice; process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
At this point, you can freeze the pesto (my preference is to mix the cheese in immediately before serving rather than before freezing). To freeze, I put the pesto in Ziploc freezer bags, then squeeze out as much air as possible. You can also use freezer-safe containers, but I'd suggest drizzling a thin layer of olive oil over the top of the pesto: this keeps it from turning dark where it's in contact with air.
For serving the fresh or thawed pesto, mix with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately. Enjoy!