Thursday, July 3, 2014

My garlic scape pesto sauce!

I enjoy growing an organic garden each year. One of my very favorite vegetables to grow is garlic. Not only is garlic delicious in many foods, it is extremely nutritious. As well, it is medicinal, and even referred to by some as a natural antibiotic.

My garlic plants
I plant garlic at the end of October each year using cloves of garlic that I have grown. Into the earth goes the garlic clove. Then, late next summer, out comes a big full round garlic bulb when I harvest the plants.

During the growing process the plants grow a scape on top. It's a curvy loop on one of the garlic plant's stems and has a flower blossom on the end. The scapes are cut off the garlic plants so that the plant's energy can go to the bulb growing underground rather than to the blossom for the flower trying to grow at the top of the plant.

So, when the scapes are the right size, they are cut from the plant with a sharp knife to be used in various recipes. My favorite is scape pesto.

I have about 275 garlic plants in the garden this year but I only cut about 15 or so scapes the other day to make some pesto for dinner. So, I'll be harvesting the remaining scapes this week end and making LOTS more pesto sauce and freezing most of it for future use.

Harvesting the garlic scapes...

In my garden. A big handful of cut scapes ready
to bring into the kitchen.

My recipe:

Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients for about four cups:

  • 10 to 15 garlic scapes
  • About 1 cup or so of chopped pine nuts (OR pistachios or walnuts)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (more or less, depending on desired consistency)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (One time I added to this a couple of slices of an Italian four-cheese blend because I was short on the Parmesan cheese. It came out delicious!)
  • Juice from half of a fresh squeezed lemon (more if needed)
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • You can also add 1/2 cup to 1 cup fresh chopped basil

Preparing the scapes - Rinse scapes in cold water, then roughly chop into one inch pieces.

Pour scapes and the pine nuts into the bowl of your food processor. Blend for about a minute, or until a fairly smooth texture is achieved. Scrape down sides of bowl with your rubber spatula.
     With the machine running, slowly add olive oil, and process until thoroughly incorporated, about 15 seconds or more. Then add the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, and blend for another 5 seconds. Taste and decide if you might like to add more salt and fresh ground pepper.
     This pesto is excellent freshly made and even better when refrigerated for several hours or overnight. Before chilling, place the pesto in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
     If you don’t grow your own garlic, garlic scapes are available at farmers’ markets and some grocery markets from June through mid-July. So, hurry and get some. If you make a lot of scape pesto, you can freeze it in air-tight containers for up three months. You can freeze the pesto in ice cube trays or muffin tins and then after frozen, take them out of the trays or tins and place frozen pesto in freezer bags and then pop them back into the freezer. Take out whenever needed for recipes and eating.

     I must warn you that this pesto is extremely "addicting"! :) At least, it is for me. :)

Some scapes cut from the plants and on my cutting board

I cut off the tough "woody" parts of the scape and froze
them for future soup stock making.

chopping pine nuts

Ready to process (a few longer pieces snuck in!)

It smells heavenly!

So delicious!

I hope you get a chance to make and enjoy fresh garlic scape pesto!

God bless!


  1. Sounds so good! I'll have to share this with my friend who always has a big garden! Thanks!!

  2. Yes, it is so good, Nellie. We love it here. My oldest son said recently, "This is by far the most garlicky thing Mom has ever made!"


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