Garlic Scape Pesto

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Garlic scapes are the “flowering stalks” of hardneck garlic plants and are found only for short periods in early summer and mid-fall. They are a specialty product and are almost never sold in grocery stores, but are available now at the farmers’ market.

Scapes, which emerge as a spiral stalk from the center of the plant, are harvested before the flower is formed. This forces the plant to focus on bulb production and increases the size of the garlic cloves being grown. The scape has a mild, sweet garlic flavor that is treasured by foodies and chefs everywhere.

The Garlic Scape Pesto is delicious alone, used as a dip for vegetables, spread on crostini, used as a pizza topping, or stirred into piping hot pasta.

This recipe calls for pine nuts, but many other nuts work well, including walnuts or pistachios. The recipe can be doubled and the leftovers kept in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for a month without losing any flavor.

Ingredients

  1. 10 garlic scapes, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  2. 1/3 cup pine nuts (or nut of choice)
  3. 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  4. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  5. salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the garlic scapes, nuts, and cheese in the bowl of your food processor. Process until a paste is formed.
  2. As the processor is running, slowly pour in the olive oil. 
Note: you may not need to use all the oil. Stop when it’s in the consistency you desire.
  3. Taste and season with pepper and salt as desired.

This recipe yields enough to use with one pound of cooked linguine.