As a CSA site host and beloved member, I have overheard many a conversation and answered what seems like a million questions about the elusive garlic scape. It’s untamed, curly, citron green stalk gives it a curious and enticing appeal; but for most, they have no idea how to cook with it.
To most, the garlic scape (which is the ab0ve ground stem of a maturing garlic plant which is nestled below the earth) would seem to be inedible. Then, subscribing to the philosophy of reducing ingredient waste, someone discovered their delicious, mild-garlic flavor.
So what do you do with it, right? Any mouthwatering recipe that calls for garlic takes on a new dimension of flavor when swapped for the scapes. Yet sometimes, when I am not in the mood for their course texture (they can be a bit tough) one of my favorite (and probably the most popular) uses for the scape is a seasonal pesto. Don’t get stuck on the notion that pesto is only used as a pasta sauce. Add a dollop to scrambled eggs, your turkey sandwich, or slather it onto a pizza. I promise, you’ll love it.
Garlic Scape, Arugula and Walnut Pesto
- 2-3 garlic scapes, chopped
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2-3/4 cups olive oil
- Salt and pepper
In a food processor, combine the scapes, arugula, basil and walnuts. Once minced, add the Parmesan and pulse 3-5 times to combine. With the food processor on, drizzle the olive oil through the feed hole. Drizzle in 1-2 tbsp of water for a thinner consistency (if you dont want to add more oil to thin it out). Season with salt and pepper and serve.
*Not a CSA member. You can find scapes at your local farmers market (they are in season now) or possibly at your local grocery (our Whole Foods has them right now).