Recipe: Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic scapes in my kitchen.
Garlic scape pesto is a great meal component that is easily grown in the garden.  The garlic scape is the flower stalk from a garlic bulb, and they usually start appearing in June here in Connecticut. The curlier the garlic scape, the more tender it is. I cut my scapes before they begin to straighten out.

I like to freeze my garlic scape pesto in little batches so I can enjoy it when it's not in season, or if I need to throw together a quick dinner.* There are lots of ways to make garlic scape pesto. Here's how I make mine:

Ingredients:
10-12 garlic scapes
Roughly half to 3/4 of a pound of Romano cheese (Parmesan can be substituted if you prefer)
4 oz of walnuts (optional)
Olive oil, to taste

Makes about two cups of pesto.

I cut the actual flower bud off, but will use the stem
below it and the green part above the bud.
I take all my garlic scapes and chop them into 1 - 2 inch pieces. It doesn't need to be exact. If the bottom part of the stem seems too hard or woody, I discard it.


Next, I take about a half a pound of Romano cheese and grate it. If you want a cheesier pesto, add closer to .75 pounds.

After that, I put the garlic scape pieces and the Romano cheese in the food processor. I add about a tbsp of olive oil to start, and then I turn the food processor on.

Pesto I made last year with less cheese (and more garlic scapes) and walnuts.

I keep adding a little bit of oil as the processor runs until I get the consistency I like. 

This year I added more cheese and had less scapes since I shared with friends. I also left out
the walnuts, and the pesto is bright green as a result.
I'll divide the pesto into the 1 cup plastic containers and put it in the freezer. Try to use it within a year. 

* I will take the small frozen batch of pesto out the morning I plan to use it and defrost it in the refrigerator during the day. At dinner time, after boiling and draining pasta noodles for dinner, I'll add the pesto to the pot and stir until it is well incorporated. Serve with a hunk of Italian bread. Yum!

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