Sunday, June 12, 2016

What to do with Garlic Scapes? Pesto recipe.

It's garlic scape season!! What's a garlic scape? Garlic scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant. The bud is removed to encourage the bulbs to thicken up.  Scapes taste just like mild garlic. They can be used in exactly the same way as garlic in any recipe.

When scapes first appear they are curled.  i pick them at this stage, if you wait too long they uncurl and flower. They are too tough to pick at that point and are not good to eat. Every year i let a couple of my garlic plants flower and go to seed, so i have several patches of garlic i grow primarily just for the scapes.  when you grow garlic from seed or bulbils it takes several years for the garlic to be large enough to harvest. So i just harvest the scapes, the first couple years until the garlic is larger enough to harvest.

So what can you do with garlic scapes? The easiest thing is just to saute them in butter or olive oil. i also have asparagus ready to harvest, so i often saute them together into a stirfry. Sometimes i add broccoli or sugar snaps if i have any ready to pick.

Garlic scapes are also fabulous on pizza!! i saute them first, then add them with the other toppings and bake.  So delicious. 

Just like asparagus, scapes are great with eggs. i like to use them in quiche, frittatas, and omelets. i always cook them first, sauteing until tender before adding them to the dish. 

This year i have such a great scape harvest that i decided to make garlic scape pesto. It's incredibly easy to make and absolutely delicious!  i then used the pesto as sauce on pizza topped with homemade mozzarella, feta, asparagus, spinach and more garlic scapes.

i also use the pesto on cheese ravioli and fettuccine.

  1. For the pesto
    • around 10 large garlic scapes (small handful)
    • 1/3 cup pine nuts
    • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese 
    •  salt and black pepper
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. Chop the garlic scapes, then add all ingredients except salt and pepper to your food processor or blender.  Blend/process until smooth, then season with salt and pepper to taste.  
Can be refrigerated for up to a week. 

Garlic scape pesto is so good on pasta! Do you have a favorite way to eat garlic scapes?  Let me know in the comments! 


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