Friday, June 14, 2013

Pesto passion

It's mid-June, and my first ever garlic plants are coming up.  And if you pay careful attention, you can see there's a special treat available right now for all garlic growers:  Garlic Scapes.

If you look carefully at the garlic patch, you'll see these curly goose-necked creatures hidden among the leaves.  Those are the scapes.  My neighbor (who is an amazing gardener, so I'm totally trusting her on this) says that those will eventually straighten out and become tall, thick, and woody -- they'll be unsuitable for eating.  But now, while they're curly, they're really tender.  So I chopped off all my scapes.

Will this kill the garlic plants?  I don't know and I don't care, because now I have a handful of scapes and I'm ready to make this recipe I learned from my CSA several years ago.

Garlic Scape Pesto1/2 lb. organic scapes (chopped into 1" sections)
1 c. organic olive oil
2 c. grated parmesan cheese
In a blender, combine the scapes and olive oil. Pour mixture into bowl and blend the cheese in by hand.

The end result isn't at all basil-y (after all, there's no basil in it).  It's a bit creamy, like mayonaise or hummus. It's good enough to be the sole spread on a sandwich, in my G.L.O. (Garlic-Loving Opinion).  I make a lot of it at once, and then freeze the extra either in ice cube trays or in small canning jars.

In our case, the inaugural 2013 Garlic Scape Pesto batch made it into a pasta salad (with kale chips and a bit of turkey kielbasa thrown in as garnish).   And, as such, it didn't last long at all.


  1. Oooh! That sounds tasty, and I think I'm getting scapes in my CSA sometime soon, so I'm going to have to try this :) Thanks!

  2. It won't kill the garlic! You actually have to pull out the scapes regularly, otherwise they drain nutrients from the garlic bulb. And they're really tasty chopped up in mashed potatoes! I just harvested my garlic yesterday, too.

    1. Oooh, good to know. Thanks very much, Lauren! -MM