Garlic scapes are beautiful, curly stands that look like they belong in a flowery bouquet rather than from an often-tossed part of the garlic plant. Garlic scapes are the green tops of a garlic bulb, and are almost never found in grocery stores, but they often turn up at early summer farmer’s markets. I’d never cooked with them before, so when they wound up in my first CSA box of the year, I was a little stumped as to what I should do with them!
Since we’d finally run out of our homemade pesto stash from last summer, I decided that a Garlic Scape Pesto was in order. But I don’t love an overpoweringly garlic flavour, so I decided to cut the garlic scape pesto with basil – and use half garlic scapes and half basil for a milder Garlic Scape Basil Pesto. You could easily use all garlic scapes for a spicier, garlic-ier pesto, or do a ratio that’s more to your tastes.
Garlic scapes are high in antioxidants, improve oxygen levels in the blood, and may have cancer-fighting properties. So eat up! Garlic Scape Basil Pesto is delicious tossed with pasta, or as a spread on a cracker, or as a topping on a baked potato! Really, you can use it anywhere you’d use regular pesto.
I love having a big stash of pesto in my freezer, so feel free to double this recipe if you like. This recipe yields approximately 1 regular 8 oz mason jar of pesto. Store it in the freezer for up to 6 months, or it will stay fresh in the fridge for approximately 2-3 weeks.
- 1 cup garlic scapes, cut into pieces
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- In a food processor, blend together all ingredients until smooth.
- Pesto can be stored in a mason jar in the freezer for up to 6 months, or in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
- Recipe yields approximately 1 regular 8 oz mason jar of pesto.