If you’ve not tried Garlic Scape Pesto, put this on your list! Find garlic scapes at your local farmer’s market, farm stand, or Co-Op during mid Spring to early Summer. Their season is short so grab them while you can! This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free. [ see how to VIDEO on recipe card! ] *For a dairy free Garlic Scape Pesto, try my Vegan Garlic Scape Pesto.
I had never tried Garlic Scape Pesto until these beautiful curly scapes showed up in my CSA share. I’d had garlic scapes before, roasted, on pizza, in hummus and other delicious dishes, yet I had just not made pesto with them. It was time to try something new… it blew my socks off!
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What is a Garlic Scape?
A garlic scape is the flower stalk of a ‘hardneck’ garlic plant. It tastes like garlic, only spicier. The stem of the growing garlic is removed so that the remaining energy goes towards the development of the bulb, or head of garlic, which is good because this helps the plant develop plump, full flavored garlic cloves. So until the garlic harvest later in the season, we feast on scapes!
Benefits of Garlic: Garlic’s health benefits are vast, including cardiovascular support, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. It also supports the body in the prevention of cancer. It’s a superfood!
Quick Guide: How to Make Garlic Scape Pesto
It’s so quick to whirl this pesto up, enjoy it, and/or pop it in your freezer for a delicious summertime treat in the middle of winter. In summary, here’s how to make it (see recipe card for details):
- First, in the bowl of a food processor, add the garlic scapes, nuts, cheese, salt, and lemon. Give the ingredients a whirl to break down.
- Next, with the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil.
- Last, taste for salt adjustment and transfer into storage containers.
I typically put it in a jar and freeze it, but pesto can also be spooned into ice-cube trays to freeze, then used later when smaller portions are needed. Also, garlic scapes can be blanched and frozen if preserving them whole or diced is preferred.
The flavor of this pesto? It is spicy, creamy, and gives any special dish that WOW factor! It is a loud condiment, so a little goes a long way.
- How to Choose Garlic Scapes: Look for garlic scapes at farmer’s markets or local Co-Ops. I tend to prefer smaller scapes as they’re milder in flavor.
- They should be bright green with a firm, yet flexible bottom stem.
- Younger scapes are generally more tender and have a milder flavor, while older scapes can become tougher and develop a stronger, more pungent and bitter taste.
- Freezer friendly? Yes please! Pesto freezes beautifully in glass jars or for smaller portions, in ice cube trays, for up to a year. Spring through early summer is a good time to stock up.
- Dairy free version? You got it! Try my Vegan Garlic Scape Pesto.
- This is a loud condiment, so a little goes a long way.
- Unless purchased in bulk, the cost of pine nuts can be quite high. Feel free to substitute lightly toasted walnuts or almonds – they’re fabulous in this pesto!
Ways to Use Garlic Scape Pesto
- Grilled Veggie Sandwich with Pesto Mayo
- Sourdough Pizza
- Gluten Free Sourdough Pizza
- Flatbread Pizza
- Creamy Farro with Pesto, Asparagus and Peas
- Fresh Marinara Walnut Sauce
- Gluten Free Pizza Crust
- Pesto Spinach Whipped Ricotta Dip
- Broccoli Fritatta
- Spinach Mushroom Pesto Ricotta Lasagna
Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe
- Trim the garlic scapes by cutting just below the bulb and also if the end of the stem seems woody, trim that too (like asparagus). Discard the bulb and end of stem, then set the remaining scape aside (the curly part).
- In a food processor, add the scapes, twirling them around the center so that they all fit. Add the pine nuts, cheese, juice of the lemon and salt and pepper. Process by pulsing until the mixture begins to break down. Scrape the bowl down.
- With the processor running, slowly add all the olive oil. Continue to process until all the ingredients are incorporated and broken down, about one minute.
- Store in a covered container or lidded jar in the fridge and enjoy within a week. Also, you can freeze the pesto in a jar or in an ice-cube tray. Once frozen, in the ice-cube tray, remove and place in a zip top bag in the freezer.