Garlic Scape Pesto is such a delicious addition to so many recipes! This pesto is dairy free, vegan and gluten free. Perfect for pasta & more!
How to grow garlic
Garlic is such an easy plant to grow. It basically needs no attention except weeding and fertilization. In most northern areas it is planted around late August or September and left to overwinter. It prefers loamy well drained soil but does well in my clayey soil too. It just can’t tolerate excess moisture.
If you have clayey soil like I do, boost up the organic material with mulch or sand. Mix it in well with the existing soil before planting.
What are garlic scapes?
Garlic scapes are the flower bud and the stalk of the flower (botanically the peduncle) of the garlic plant. They are curly, green and originate directly from the bulb.
If the garlic “scapes” are not removed from the leaves, the flower will take nutrients from the bulb, so that the bulb of the garlic will be smaller. Therefore, it is important to break or cut the garlic scapes off, before they flower.
In upstate NY they emerge from the beginning of June to the beginning of July. Remove them as soon as you see them emerge for best results. Continue to check for them for at least a few weeks, in case you missed any, or new ones emerge.
Health benefits of garlic scapes
Garlic scapes contain many beneficial compounds to improve your health, for more information see this article. These include protein, calcium, and vitamin C. Like garlic cloves, many of these health benefits are lost in the cooking process. so it is best to eat them raw like this pesto.
How to store garlic scapes
Garlic scapes freeze very well. They can be chopped into pieces or chopped in the food processor. Then place them in freezer containers. They will freeze at least a year. Freeze them to use in recipes all year long. See full instructions on this article How to store garlic scapes.
Garlic scapes will last in your refrigerator for at least a month. Note: that they have their best flavor fresh picked.
Ingredients you need
- garlic scapes – best to use them fresh picked for the best flavor
- almonds – (they are cheaper and easier to find than pine nuts) ground almonds whole, slivered or blanched will work fine. Use whatever you have in the pantry. Optional: toast the nuts lightly in the oven before making the sauce.
- parsley – use fresh, not dried
- basil – use fresh, not dried
- oregano – use fresh, not dried
- extra virgin olive oil – use a good quality oil for best flavor
- optional freshly grated parmesan cheese (omit for vegan or substitute nutritional yeast)
How to Make Garlic Scape Pesto
- Grind almonds in food processor until very finely textured.
- Wash and dry scapes well. Cut off the hard stem end about 1 inch. Chop into 1-2 inch long pieces.
- Place in food processor with almonds.
- Add washed and dried herbs.
- Run in food processor until fine. This will take a few minutes.
- With processor running, stream in olive oil. Start with 1/2 cup. Check the texture. Add more oil to attain the texture you prefer. Scrape the processor with a plastic or rubber spatula a few times to make sure that your pest is well blended.
How to store pesto
The pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays. Spray the trays with no stick spray before adding pesto. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours. Remove the cubes from the trays and store in freezer containers or bags for at least one year.
Pesto can also be placed in freezer bags. Flatten the pesto in the bag using your hands or a rolling pin into a thin uniform layer. When you need to remove some for a recipe, just break off the appropriate sized piece.
How to use garlic scape pesto
- Pesto is great tossed in pasta add some of your pasta cooking water to “marry” the pesto to the pasta.
- Lather some on steamed vegetables. Especially summer vegetables like, zucchini, summer squash and green or yellow beans.
- It also makes a perfect pizza sauce, see my Chicken Florentine Pizza with Garlic Scape Pesto.
- It’s a great topping for bruschetta.
- Top just about any meat with this pesto to give it a mild garlicky flavor.
- Make a garlicky veggie dip.
- Add it to soups or stews for an easy garlicky flavor.
- Stir into mashed potatoes or mashed vegetables.
- Make a garlicky vinaigrette.
- Stuff chicken, pork or lamb.
- Add a dollop to your fried or scrambled eggs.
- Add it to pasta salad, potato salad or coleslaw.
Want to learn how to grow your own garlic? If you love growing your own produce, these articles are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss our How to Start a Garden Series!
Make this Garlic Scape Pesto today, before they all gone until next June!
If you have any questions or comments, please ask in comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!
I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
Garlic Scape Pesto
- Chop garlic scapes.
- Measure herbs.
- Add everything to food processor bowl, except olive oil.
- Process until ingredients are combined and quite finely textured.
- Stream in olive oil until a smooth sauce is formed. Start with 1/2 cup olive oil. If you would like the sauce creamier, continue to add the rest of the olive oil until desired texture is obtained.
- Pesto stores well in the freezer. Freeze in ice cube trays or cupcake tins. Once frozen, remove to plastic freezer bag. Thaw when ready to use.
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Originally published 10/13/2017 updated 6/20/2021