Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Garlic scape pesto

This week's CSA box featured:

Garlic scapes.

I'd always wanted to play with these so I was pretty psyched to find them in my box. The girls who were helping offload the veggies into my shopping bag saw some gorgeous beets and started chanting, "Beets! Beets! Beets!"

Because they love beets.

And I thought, "What funny kids I have." I don't think that many other children would summon that kind of enthusiasm for beets. (And just in case you're about to launch into a fugue of mommy guilt, don't. Mine are plenty picky, and turn up their noses at a wide and ever-changing variety of things.)

So pesto. Another quick evening-after-the-pool meal.

Garlic Scape Pesto

From "A Mighty Appetite" by Kim O'Donnell, The Washington Post

1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup walnuts
¾ cup olive oil
¼-1/2 cup grated parmigiano
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

For ½ pound short pasta such as penne, add about 2 tablespoons of pesto to cooked pasta and stir until pasta is well coated.

Unlike the dark green of the traditional basic-based pesto, the garlic scape pesto was a fresh and lively spring green. It tasted both garlicky and green. It was delicious, but perhaps a little overwhelming with just noodles. The original article's author suggested scattering some cherry tomatoes on top of the noodles. It made me wish for some tomatoes. Mine are still green on the vine. I wondered about crisping some pancetta and adding some peas to this dish.

This pesto would make a fabulous and conversation-starting hors d'oeuvres, mounded atop some crostini and with fresh mozzarella or perhaps a sliver of prosciutto or half a cherry tomato...or...You could really have some fun with this.


  1. I have to add (maybe this even deserves its own article) that this pesto was phenomenal on a cheeseburger. Phen. O. Men. Al. Droolworthy. Yum. (And my little garlic lovers devoured it on crackers and baguette.)

  2. I have never heard of garlic scapes...Part of a garlic plant or something completely different?

  3. Sorry, Rhome, for not getting back earlier. Poor blog is getting neglected amid summer activities. (And the past few days have been too hot to think, never mind cook or write!)

    Anyway, the garlic scape is the above-ground part of the garlic plant. When the garlic bulb begins to harden, it sends a green shoot above ground. If the shoot stays attached to the bulb, the bulb stops growing. So farmers remove this shoot to keep the bulb growing. This makes me want to try and grow some garlic! You can get a two-fer from the garlic plant.


Thanks so much for commenting. I love reading your thoughts and responses.