Garlic Scape Pesto

I am a firm believer in the fact that food can be trendy.  When I say that in the presence of my non-foodie friends, they give me a funny look… But, how else can you explain the recent surge of interested in the formerly-hated, slipped under the table to the dog vegetable, Brussels sprouts? I admit that I was never really a Brussels sprouts hater, but I was surprised to see how popular my recipe for Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts was last fall! And it wasn’t just me… It seemed that sprout fever spread all over the blogosphere, even making an appearance at the Foodbuzz Festival!

So what do Brussels sprouts have to do with garlic scape pesto? Well, I am convinced that garlic scapes are another “trendy” food right now… Not that there’s anything wrong with that! It’s just that when I was perusing the farmers’ market in Cape Cod and saw garlic scapes, I had this strong urge to buy a bunch of them.  I don’t normally even LIKE pesto, but I had a strong urge to make garlic scape pesto… Most likely because I’ve seen it on quite a few blogs and I just had to know what the buzz was all about!

While I resisted the urge when I was in Cape Cod (mostly due to the fact that I had not actually packed my food processor and taken it with me, which shows restraint on my part, I believe…), I was happy to discover a large bunch of garlic scapes in our CSA box upon our return to PA. Hooray! I would finally get my chance to try out the famous garlic scapes!

I knew I wanted to try some pesto, but wasn’t exactly sure what all should go into it. I don’t make pesto much… I didn’t think I liked it.  After a quick search, I found a recipe from Dorie Greenspan that I thought would be a good place to start.  I mixed things up a bit, using the recipe as inspiration.  I used walnuts instead of almonds and added some fresh basil from my garden. I don’t think I followed the proportions, either. I just went with what seemed right to me at the time.

And how was it? I think the garlic scape pesto lives up to all of the hype… I loved it! We enjoyed it on pasta (I’ll share that recipe later this week) and on some tomato and mozzarella salads (using some of the beautiful purple heirloom tomatoes I also received in my CSA box!). Plus, I still have some left, so I’m dreaming up a pesto panini and possibly even a pesto pasta salad!

I guess I can’t say I don’t like pesto anymore… In fact, I might even try some other pesto variations later this summer. We’ll see!

Garlic Scape Pesto

(adapted from Dorie Greenspan)

  • 12 garlic scapes (rough ends trimmed), cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Combine the chopped garlic scapes, basil leaves, and walnuts in a food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and stream in (or gradually add) the olive oil until you have reached the texture that you desire. Season to taste with the Kosher salt, and enjoy!

Dorie gives a great tip about storing the pesto… Be sure to press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing if you’re not going to use it right away!

Tomato and Mozzarella Salads with Garlic Scape Pesto

Once you have the garlic scape pesto, you can throw together a fantastic tomato and mozzarella salad in no time… Just stack fresh mozzarella and slices of tomato. Top with a spoonful of the garlic scape pesto and drizzle with some additional olive oil and Balsamic vinegar!

22 Responses to Garlic Scape Pesto

  1. I totally agree with you on the trends, especially since I have been seeing garlic scape pesto around the past few weeks! Am I the only one that doesn’t know what garli scape is? Must be since I don’t like veggies. :)

    That stack looks mouthwatering!

  2. I am a big fan of garlic scape pesto and used scapes in my tricolour vegetable terrine for Daring Cooks last month in the pesto layer. It just added an extra dimension. I actually made Dorie’s recipe in the VERY early days of my blog and posted about it with some dreadful pictures!!! Yours are stunning!

  3. That towering salad is drool worthy, for sure. I’ll bet the basil took the bite out of the garlic. Beautiful post, Jen!

  4. Oh man, you just reminded me of how much I hated brussel sprouts until I saw the balsamic roasted ones on your blog. It’s now the only way to get me to eat them :)

  5. I love mixing it up when it comes to making pesto. Sometimes people are shocked when I try a different kind because they think there is only one way to make pesto. This looks like a wonderful recipe.

  6. I just made garlic scape pesto for the first time last week and I loved it as well. I was tempted to use basil, too, but stuck to Dorie’s recipe. Wonderful with pasta!

  7. Food is totally trendy. Just look at all the restaurants popping up. Most people couldn’t even tell you what Thai food consisted of 10 years ago. And no one liked sushi except those of Asian descent (and those who grew up with my father).
    I love me some pesto – goes on everything.

  8. If only I had known how trendy garlic scape was when we got it in our CSA box a couple of weeks ago! We actually thought it was chives and didn’t find out what it really was until we had almost eaten all of it.