The wonder of garlic, besides it’s rich flavor and noted medicinal characteristics, is that the entire plant is edible. And each part has it’s own appeal. No doubt you’re familiar with the bulb’s cloves that we regularly, chop, mince and sauté into other foods, or roast in the oven. But the spring leaves and shoots and stems are also fully edible.
Scapes are the bright green twisting, curly stems that grow up from the maturing bulbs. Snip it off and you have the taste of garlic more in the form of a scallion. Their garlic flavor is a little brighter and snappier than their bulb relatives and can be chopped and tossed raw or roasted into salads. We always make a portion of the first harvest of ours into pesto so we can spread the scape love onto pizzas, pastas, and breads. Then we experiment with them in other dishes. See the links below for more wonderful recipes for these briefly available palate charmers. But be sure to make some pesto and you’ll always have a spoonful of wow to add to everyday meals.
Skills: Using a food processor, chopping
Fresh Garlic Scape Pesto
- 1/2 pound fresh garlic scapes
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Chop garlic scapes into 2-inch pieces.
- Put scapes into a food processor and pulse process until rough chopped.
- Add parmesan, pine nut, lemon juice, and a little oil to food processor.
- Continue to process until a paste forms.
- Continue adding the remaining oil, a little at a time, and processing until your pesto reaches the consistency you like.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups.
Will keep in refrigerator for a week or more. Also freezes well.
Note: We make this pesto a little drier, using less oil, knowing we will likely stir it into additional oil or heavy cream when serving with pasta. Garlic scape pesto has a stronger, more pungent flavor than any of the other pestos we regularly make: basil, spinach or kale. You may want to adjust to suit your taste by reducing the amount of scapes and/or increasing the amount of cheese.
And here are a few others that we’re fixing to try this season:
Please share in the comments your favorite dish with scapes.
Co-Author of Garden Candy Basics