If you grow hard neck garlic, then you probably anticipate the arrival of garlic scapes every year. I know I do! And this year, I used them to make a delicious pesto.
Garlic scapes are essentially garlic flower shoots that emerge from the center of a garlic plant that indicate it is nearly time to harvest the bulbs (In my zone 6a garden, this happens in early summer). It is good garlic growing practice to remove these scapes so that the garlic plants can focus their energy back on bulb formation (which is what we want. Big and heavy bulbs!). These garlic scapes are fully edible and have a mild garlicky flavor that goes well with pasta, chicken, fish and many other dishes. They can be grilled, pickled, roasted... Possibilities are endless.
If you are part of a CSA (community sponsored agriculture) program or have access to farmer's markets, then you have probably seen garlic scapes. Scapes are generally not available at supermarkets. So if you space to grow garlic, I highly recommend it!
Let's get to the recipe!
Garlic Scape Walnut Pesto
- 6-8 Garlic scapes, chopped - When chopped, should be approx ½ cup
- ⅓ cup (75ml) Olive oil - Add more or less depending on desired consistency
- ½ cup (120ml) Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated - Use the real stuff. No substitutions!
- ⅓ cup (75ml) Walnuts, chopped - You can use almonds or pine nuts too!
- ½ cup (120ml) Basil, chopped
- ¼ cup (60ml) Parsley, chopped
- ½ Lemon, squeezed - More or less to taste
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place scapes, walnuts, Parmesan, basil and parsley in a food processor and pulse to combine
- Add olive oil and lemon and continue to pulse until combined. Depending on your desired consistency, you can continue to process until you have a smooth puree.
- Add salt and pepper, pulse, taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. You can add more lemon if you like as well.
If you tried this recipe out, let me know what you think! Check out my social media links at the bottom of the page.