Garlic scape pesto is the talk of the town and now you can actually buy garlic scapes at markets. So I thought it was about time to remind you about this swirly, magical offshoot of garlic.
The year was 2013. I had written a post about how to make garlic scape pesto, the best pesto you’ll ever eat. The kind of pesto that will ruin you for regular pesto for the rest of your life. At that time garlic scapes were still a bit of an anomaly. The kind of thing weirdos and food hustlers were trying to get you to eat.
Back then, in 2013, Garlic scapes were what the underground cool kids were cooking.
Now garlic scapes have made their way to farmer’s markets and people actually know what they are even if they still aren’t quite sure what to do with them.
I’ve tried scapes many ways including sautéed, grilled and as a fashion accessory. But really the only thing you should do with them is make garlic scape pesto. I make 3 or 4 batches of this, freeze it in ice cube trays and then throw them all into a big freezer bag and pull them out as I need them.
To make garlic scape pesto you only need a few ingredients, and really only a few scapes.
10 scapes will get you a batch of pesto that will serve 8 people.
Before I give you the recipe here’s a refresher of what a garlic scape is (a lot of people missed out on the entire year of 2013 on account of the Candy Crush addiction epidemic.)
What is a garlic scape?
- A garlic scape is the round stem that grows out of the centre of the garlic plant in late June.
- That stem eventually turns into the flower head of the garlic and will produce seeds.
- Scapes need to be cut off of growing garlic to allow the garlic plant to push its energy towards growing the garlic bulb, not the garlic flower.
- They’re a delicacy that only comes once a year for a very short period of time. Like fiddleheads or ramps. Or a really funny Saturday Night Live skit.
This is a “brighter” version of pesto from the addition of lemon juice. You can add more or less lemon juice as you like but the amount in the recipe below is the amount I use in all my batches.
You just whizz everything together in a blender or food processor and you’re done.
There’s no cooking.
You blend, and then serve or freeze.
Garlic Scape Pesto
- 1 cup rough chopped garlic scapes apx. 10 scapes
- 1/2 cup basil
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 lemon juice & zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Toast pine nuts in a dry pan over medium/low heat for a few minutes. Toss them and turn them until they just start to brown.
- Pulse first 7 ingredients in food processor or blender (everything but the oil) until everything is chopped up.
- Slowly drizzle in oil with processor or blender running.
- Serve over linguine. (you can heat your pesto in a pan first if you like)
I do 3 things with this pesto: put it on linguine, give it away, and make pizza. My killer recipe for pesto pizza will be coming soon.
There isn’t much time left so if you want to make this head to a farmer’s market immediately or find someone who’s growing garlic and beg for a few scapes. Don’t give them the recipe though because they’ll never give you any scapes then. They’ll keep them all for themselves. That’s an insider tip right there.
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