Sunday, 9 September 2007

garlic scape pesto

This is my entry to Weekend Herb Blogging, but it also happens to be one of my Recipe Road Tests.

Fittingly, I found the original recipe on the website of WHB’s creator: Kalyn.

Last year, during the northern hemisphere summer, I noticed all my fellow bloggers were using an ingredient I’d never seen before: garlic scapes. Everyone seems to be indulging and so, by the time summer rolled around to Sydney and the garlic scapes hit the shelves, I knew what they were and was ready to dabble.

The stores here called them garlic spears or garlic stems, but I had already known them through cyberspace as garlic scapes and that’s the name that stuck for me!

Kalyn picked an interesting recipe and, since I’d read they could be strong, I decided my first attempt to use them should be guided.

The result was delicious, but quite strong and I definitely had horrendous garlic breath for what seemed like days. This could have been due to the fact that I gave Jonas no instructions then went into another room and came back after he’d added more garlic scapes than Kalyn suggested.

I think if you stick to her recipe and also add in some toasted almonds you should adore it.

Garlic Scape Pesto
Recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen.
½ cup garlic scapes, finely chopped
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
3 cups grated parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
1. Put garlic scapes and lemon juice in bowl of food processor with steel blade, and process until scapes are very finely chopped.
2. With food processor running, add oil through the feed tube and process 2-3 minutes.
3. Remove lid, add half of parmesan cheese and process 2 minutes, then add the rest of cheese and salt and process 2-3 minutes more.
Anna’s variation: I used around ¼ cup of toasted slivered almonds, in lieu of pinenuts, and this added counter balance to the strong garlicky flavour, as well as a sweet nuttiness.

Garlic scapes are the stalks that grow out of the garlic head. They curve as they grow but when they get a bit older they start to straighten out. They can form a flower as well.

They are picked when young and tender and are milder than the bulbs. I suppose you could use them sparingly in lieu of leeks or asparagus and they would be a great addition to a stir-fry too.

This WHB is hosted by the lovely Katie from Thyme For Cooking. She is based in the Vendée which, Jean-Baptiste assures me, is no where near Andorra.



  1. Yes, I do think they can definitely be on the strong side. I believe after I wrote that post the guy at our farmers market told me that sometimes they are much stronger than others, so I think the best thing is to taste-test as you go along! And I hear you about the garlic breath.

  2. Delicious! I love scape pesto. Here's my recipe:

    Garlic Scape & Toasted Pumpkin Seed Pesto

    It's similar, but vegan :)

    Can't wait until next year to eat more scapes (they're long gone from the farmstands here)

  3. I was a bit confused as to what 'scapes' were this summer when everyone was talking. We have 'green garlic' which is the entire garlic, bulb and all, used very young, when the bulb is the size of a green onion/scallion. They are very mild and absolutely delicious. I'll have to look for scapes next year. The pesto sounds wonderful!


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