If you haven’t 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 mid Summer. Their season is short so grab them while you can! Vegetarian. *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. I finally decided it was time… it blew my socks off!
A garlic scape is the flower stalk of a ‘hardneck’ garlic plant. It tastes like garlic, only spicier! The stem 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 a full flavored and good size head of garlic. So until the garlic harvest, we feast on scapes!
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. 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.
Garlic is part of a group of plants known as alliums, which includes onions and leeks. 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!
And the flavor of this pesto? It is spicy, creamy, and gives any special dish that WOW factor! My favorite way to enjoy Garlic Scape Pesto is on Flatbread Pizza, pasta, crostini or in Creamy Farro with Pesto, Asparagus and Peas. But it’s also just as fabulous with a spoon! Um, um…. um.
For a dairy free garlic scape pesto, try my Vegan Garlic Scape Pesto.
Garlic Scape Pesto
Pesto is a pantry staple. Freeze fresh summer pesto for a burst of summer in the middle of winter. This Garlic Scape Pesto is, versatile and a fabulous addition to pizza, pasta, crostini, potato salad or sandwiches. Recipe yields about 1 1/4 Cup. Vegetarian + Gluten Free
- 10 (154g) Garlic Scapes
- 1/3 C (44g) Pine Nuts* (see note)
- 1/3 C (38g) Parmesan Asiago or simply Parmesan ** (see note) dice or shredded
- 1/2 Lemon juiced
- 1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- A few grinds of Pepper
- 1/3 C (70g) Olive Oil
Trim the garlic scapes by cutting just below the bulb. Discard the bulb and set the remaining scape aside.
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 ziplock bag in the freezer.
*The price of pine nuts have gone through the roof! Toasted walnuts will be a fine sub for this recipe. Simply rough chop the walnuts and measure 1/3 C (30g).
**Parmesan Cheese: Look for vegetarian friendly Parmesan cheese (one that does not use rennet in production). BelGioioso vegetarian Parm can be hard to find, but Organic Valley is more widely available and Stella offers a vegetarian friendly Parm. I found this comprehensive list that shows brands who produce vegetarian friendly parmesan cheese. For more information, check directly with your preferred cheese maker.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.
UPDATED: This recipe was originally posted in July, 2014. I have since updated the photos, text and added additional details to the recipe.
If you make this recipe, or any others on Vanilla And Bean, be sure to post it to Instagram and tag #VanillaAndBean! I’d love to see what you’ve made! Also, if you like my content, please consider sharing it with three friends and/or family. Thank you!