Garlic Scapes are one of my absolute favorite foods, yet available so fleetingly. They are the flower stalk from hardneck garlic, and must be harvested to allow the garlic heads to size up. But their delicious garlic x leek flavor is an absolute delight. The biggest scape regret is that their season lasts but about two weeks a year.
Customers ask us what to do with garlic scapes every year, then cautiously get just a few. We suggest using them in stir fries, omelettes, on pizzas, or grilling them with some asparagus. They fall in love with flavor and the fun shape, but when they come back for more, the season is over.
One of our favorite ways to celebrate them in a more featured way is to make garlic scape pesto. Great on pizza or pasta, used as a dip, or just spread on some yummy rustic bread. I usually just improvise the pesto. Pestos are forgiving. But, this time I recorded quantities I used to make a very simple garlic scape pesto to give everyone a starting point.
Yes, this is a very simple recipe. Feel free to take it to the next level by adding basil, parsley, or other fresh herbs, substituting pine nuts, sunflower seeds, or other nuts for the walnut, using sesame or walnut oil for some or all of the olive oil, substituting different hard cheeses, and more.
|Prep Time||5 minutes|
|Cook Time||0 minutes|
|Passive Time||0 minutes|
- 2.5 oz Parmesan Cheese
- 4 oz Garlic Scapes
- 4 oz Walnuts Toasted
- to taste Salt (just a small pinch should do. Be careful if you substitute a salty cheese like asiago!)
- to taste Black Pepper (Freshly ground, just a few grinds)
- 6 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil (more or less to suit your texture preference)
- 1 squeeze Lemon Juice (optional)
- In a food processor, grate the cheese. Set cheese aside, and switch the processor from the grating disc to the blade.
- Place the garlic scapes in the processor, an whir until a rough paste forms. You may need to add in several installments, as well as scape down the sides of the bowl, as sometimes the scapes wrap around the shaft and just spin rather than chop. Add the toasted walnuts, and whir them into a paste as well.
- Add the cheese back into the processor, along with a small pinch of salt and a grind or two of black pepper. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Run the processor of low, and drizzle olive oil in a slow, steady stream into the mixture until you reach your desired texture.
- If you will not be using the pesto right away, a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice will help preserve the color. Simply squeeze some in (watch of for the seeds!) while the processor is running.