The Great Scape Pesto

Garden-to-Table Eating from my newsletter archives

June is when it’s time for me to cut off the garlic scapes—those curly things forming at the top of my garlic plants. These taste like garlic and can be used like garlic in any recipe. They’re also a nice addition to stir-fry dishes. But my favorite thing to make with them is garlic scape pesto. I freeze this pesto to use it year round.

Before making anything with the scapes, I wash them and remove the seed pod ends. As with any pesto, the measurements in this recipe do not have to be exact—you could use different nuts and add other herbs, salt and pepper, or even a little fresh lemon juice and zest if you want. This is approximately what I use:

Garlic Scape Pesto
  • 2 cups garlic scape, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds or walnuts
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions: First, put the nuts in a food processor and pulse them until they are coarsely chopped. Add the garlic scape pieces and process about a minute or less until the nuts and scapes are blended together. Scrape down the sides of the processor and then cover. Turn it on again and drizzle the olive oil in while it is running. Add the Parmesan and process until blended, about 30 seconds. This comes out rather thick, but one could always add more olive oil if needed. 

For the batch in this video, I actually used 3 cups garlic scapes, 1 cup almonds, 3/4 cup olive oil, and 1 cup Parmesan. It’s all good! I pack it in small containers and freeze it for later use. It’s delicious on pasta or just eaten straight as a dip with bagel chips or crackers. I often coat my garden green beans with it.

If you’re not growing garlic, you could find garlic scapes when they’re in season at your local farmers market.

2022 Update

Since Number Two Son realized that he is lactose intolerant several years ago, I started making this pesto (and basil or any other pesto) without the cheese. I label it “dairy-free” and make sure that’s what I use whenever he is around. After all, those of us who want the cheese (it’s my favorite food!) can add as much grated Parmesan as we want to our own plates.

If you’re reading this post because you found me on social media, please say hi in the comments below. And if you make some Great Scape Pesto, be sure to tag me and let me know how it turned out.


Published by Debbie Rea - The Gardener Wife

Helping you to GROW SOMETHING, something beautiful—even better, something to eat! Speaker, Writer, and Influencer—available for speaking engagements on gardening and/or Christian faith topics and for collaborations on home and garden products

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