Garlic Scape Pesto

The best part about local Farmers Markets is learning to cook new things. For example, my friend recently walked up to my computer at work, saw one of my photos from this recipe, and referred to it as “snake pesto.” Understandably.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Quite frankly I haven’t known what the heck a garlic scape is for that long myself (it’s a flowering stalk of a garlic plant – but it never really flowers because all of that energy is going downstairs to grow a big garlic bulb).

But once I learned what they looked like, I kept an eye out for them and when I saw them at the Montavilla Farmers Market a week ago, I picked some up. I didn’t have any specific plans for them until I started making this pesto and realized that I had very little basil on hand. Hmm, what else to use? After considering a few other herbs, I went with the garlic scapes.

This part of the plant has a more subtle garlic flavor (so if you like garlic, you’ll want to use it in lots of things). I was eating this pesto with a spoon.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 cup garlic scapes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil, depending on your desired texture
  • 3/4 cup soft nuts such as pine nuts, walnuts or pecans
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Heavy pinch of salt

Add the first six ingredients to your food processor and blend until they form a thick paste. Use the olive oil to adjust to your preferred texture (I like to keep it pretty thick).

Taste, season with salt, and blend again. Taste once more to see if you’ve seasoned it enough.


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