Have you noticed Garlic Scapes at your local public market? They look like curvy, scallions/green beans. They are actually the flower bud of the garlic plant. Think of them like the green onions of garlic. They have the same strong and tasty garlic flavor and can be used in the same fashion. For years I've been fascinated by these, but haven't had the nerve to actually try cooking with them. Until this past weekend, when I succumbed to my urge to purchase a bunch and give them a shot. And thus, I give you Garlic Scape Pesto.
Now I'd be lying if I told you that I cooked up the idea for Garlic Scape Pesto on my own (see what I did there?). This was actually inspired by a Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta that I enjoyed one day at work, of all places! We are lucky enough have a talented group of professionals who make some pretty amazing things in our cafeteria. I thought it was pretty delicious and when I saw the Garlic Scapes once again at my weekly Public Market trip, I immediately remembered the pasta and decided to give it a shot.
Now, if you're not a garlic lover, I'd encourage you to stick with traditional Pesto, as this is pretty garlicky. You will be extra make-out-able when you finish eating this (yes, this is a word now. You're welcome.). If you do like all things garlic/pesto/pasta you will be a very happy camper.
I toasted my pine nuts first to really bring out their delicious flavor. I also added a good amount of basil to try and balance out the garlicky flavor. Feel free to go lighter or heavier on certain ingredients based on your personal tastes. You'll notice that the consistency isn't as liquid-y as one might expect. I was afraid to go too heavy on the oil because I like to add some extra olive oil to my pasta to keep it from sticking and didn't want it to be too greasy.
I served this over the fresh pasta of my choice (ie- what was living in my refrigerator) and tossed it with fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts and black olives followed by a generous sprinkle of Romano cheese and crushed red pepper. I bet it would be delicious on grilled fish or chicken as well.
Garlic Scape Pesto
Source: The Life Jolie
- A large handful of garlic scapes, with the ends trimmed and washed
- A large handful of basil leaves, washed
- ½ cup of Romano cheese
- 3 Tbsp. of toasted pine nuts
- 6 Tbsp. of olive oil (or more for a looser consistency)
Mix first 4 ingredients into your food processor and process until well combined.
While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil until the consistency is more of a thick sauce.
Serve over pasta or meat of your choice or freeze for later use. This will last a couple days in the refrigerator.
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