I recently received in my weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) a bunch of garlic scapes. I love garlic scapes, but am a fairly newbie to them. I came across them about 2 years ago and my local farmer’s market and it was love at first cooking with them! I used a couple of the scapes in a vegetable ensemble I was making for a veggie and bean burrito. As the veggies were cooking – I wondered if there were other ways to cook with scapes that I had not tried, so off to the internet I went. So glad that I did – because I came across a garlic scape pesto recipe that I just had to try! I love pesto!
If you are not familiar with garlic scapes, let me give you some information. The garlic scape is the shoot that grows from the hard necked garlic variety. As the garlic bulb grows underground, a green shoot grows from the ground and curls before straightening. If the scape is not cut off then it grows into the a hard garlic stalk. When using the scape in cooking, cut off the end that was originally cut, cut the remaining scape into 1/4 inch lengths up to the bulb or flower of the scape – discard this. Saute up with your favorite veggies and enjoy.
Garlic Scape Pesto (recipe originally found on www.sustainabletable.org)
1 cup garlic scapes, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/3 cup walnuts
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 – 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut up your garlic scapes and place them in the bowl of your food processor.
2. Toast your walnuts in a dry pan. You do not have to do this step, but I like the flavor of toasted nuts.
3. Add the nuts to the scapes and process.
4. Slowly add the olive oil to the scape and nut mix, stopping to scrape sides as you go.
5. If you are going to use right away – pour the mixture into a bowl and add the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Any leftover will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
6. If not going to use right away – place the mixture in a bowl that can be stored in the freezer – DO NOT add the cheese. When ready to use take out of freezer, allow to defrost and then add the cheese and use.
We had some fresh peas from the garden, which I lightly sauteed with olive oil, added them to the past along with the pesto. Of course, with Stella a little extra cheese was added on top. This was wonderful pesto, but it does have a bite. Stella loved it and gobbled her bowl right up!