Nothing says HELLO SUMMER! like garlic scape pesto! This beautifully green, aromatic pesto has an incredible taste of garlic, and is incredibly easy to make. A food processor or blender works perfectly with this recipe. Since I don't have a blender attachment for my Bosch Universal Mixer, my food processor attachment does the trick.
Above and below, you can see the scapes--the tops of the garlic plant, with their curly stem and bulb head which eventually flower. And those flowers are a good thing--they contain the seeds for next year's garlic plants!
If you think about it--you have one garlic plant, which produces one flower head, with maybe 8-12 seeds on that head. Do you know what this means? You don't need all those seeds for next year's garlic crop, unless you want an incredibly huge crop, that is. You can use some of the tops--the scapes--before they flower, to make this delicious pesto.
Make sure you choose young tops--there should still be plenty of curl, and the bulb portion should still be white, not like the bulb above which has already started to flower. June is usually the best time to harvest the curly scapes.
Although this is early July, my garlic plants were numerous enough that I was able to find enough scapes to make pesto.
The first batch I tried making this year was with a recipe that called for 20 fresh basil leaves. Okay, I thought, as I picked off 20 leaves... Whoa, was it garlicky! I fiddled with the recipe a bit and came up with my own version, which still preserves the garlic flavor while evening out the taste of the other ingredients.
We put it on pizza, and also made flatbread (or communion bread, recipe to come) and spread it on that. Oh, yeah, that was amazing! Here's my recipe.
Garlic Scape Pesto
Yield: about two cups, but we were gobbling it up before I measured, so...
1 cup garlic scapes, rinsed
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (I used Medinette basil)
1/4 cup nuts (I used pine once, and cashews another time--walnuts also work well)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup evoo (extra-virgin olive oil)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place the garlic scapes and basil in a food processor; pulse several times to cut everything up. Add the nuts and pulse a few more times. Add salt and pepper and pulse again. Scrape down sides of processor or blender as needed (I use a blender and do it often before adding the oil) Add evoo in a thin, steady stream to this mixture while blending, until mixture is your desired consistency and oil is fully incorporated. Empty into a bowl and stir in Parmesan cheese.
Hide this stuff before your family knows you made it! Because let me tell you--my guys were all over it! I'd tell you the pesto will last in your fridge in a Mason jar for a week or two, but it really won't because it gets eaten way before that. I hope you planted lots of basil!
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