don’t be a pesto

hey friends! i am a lazy bum this morning! i snoozed my alarm for one hour today. that never ever happens! also, major fail on one of my goals this week – oops.

anyway, i’m running around a little bit, crossing my fingers for the thunderstorms that are predicted for the madison area this morning. no gardening in lightening! 🙂 haha, but i don’t think it’s going to get here until just after we’re done. oh well! as long as it doesn’t rain while we’re out there i’ll be happy!

speaking of gardening, yesterday we harvested garlic scapes. tons of garlic scapes! ok, not tons, but a lot.

we have 3,000 bulbs of garlic planted this year, so that means 3,000 garlic scapes. for anyone who doesn’t know, garlic scapes are the curly things that grow into a flower at the top of a garlic plant. if you allow the plant to flower, it puts a lot of it’s energy into growing the flower instead of into growing the bulb of garlic. so, if you remove the scapes before the garlic flowers, that results in a larger, more flavorful bulb of garlic.

but what does one do with 3,000 garlic scapes? if you’re like the kids in my program, you eat it raw. but if you have any close proximity with other humans, you avoid doing that because the garlic breath stays with you for days hours.

if you do really like garlic, but don’t want quite the pungency of raw scapes, you can make garlic scape pesto, which is clearly what i did!

i made two batches, both containing garlic scapes, broken into 1-3 inch pieces before putting them in my food processor.

with the flowers removed. (you can just compost them.)

both also had extra virgin olive oil and shredded parmesan cheese.

one batch had pine nuts, and one batch had walnuts. (holy ****, pine nuts are expensive! ugh… )

i didn’t follow any kind of recipe, so i just mixed things in my processor until it looked and tasted right. (taste testing is key!)

and the result is a spicy, garlic-y, spread!

if i had to guess at a recipe, i’d say my proportions ended up being about:

  • 2 cups garlic scapes broken into 1-3 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or pine nuts)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

….maybe? haha! i’m sorry i didn’t pay more attention when i was throwing it together.

with all of the scapes i took home, we had way more than we’d eat anytime soon, so i froze about 3/4 of it to use in the future! pesto actually freezes pretty well.


have you ever eaten garlic scapes?

have you ever made your own pesto?


About sarah

hi, i'm sarah. i'm a graduate student, dog lover, newlywed, blogger, aspiring baker/cook, and a veggie lover. :)
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18 Responses to don’t be a pesto

  1. I didn’t even know what a garlic scape was until this post! Sounds delicious!

  2. I can’t say that I’ve actually made traditional pesto, which is weird now that I think about it. I have made a Thai Pesto with peanuts and cilantro before that was amazing…and I’ve definitely USED pesto in cooking….

    I love the post title. 🙂

  3. Sarah says:

    Those dang pine nuts always get me, so I’ve never made my own pesto. I really should try though, I didn’t know it froze well. Thanks for the tip!

  4. oooh my mom and i were just talking about garlic scapes at the farmer’s market this weekend. i’d never heard of them!

  5. I’ve never tired garlic scapes, but have made my own pesto with hemp seeds. Pine nuts are great, but so pricey here now!

  6. I have never heard of garlic scapes! I’ll have to research that one. I never put nuts in my pesto. Just basil, garlic, and olive oil. 🙂

  7. I had never heard of garlic scapes before; green garlic yes, garlic scapes no. Sounds really good though!

    I love freezing pesto…makes winter days more tolerable when you know you have some in the freezer 🙂

    I’ve also made pesto with arugula instead of basil–pretty tasty!

    • Sarah says:

      hmm, i wonder if some ppl call garlic scapes green garlic since they’re all green? maybe!

      yes yes yes! same thing with strawberries. i always pick ~20 lbs per summer and cut them in half and freeze for winter!

      and i’ve made pesto with kale too. and cilantro!!

  8. ohmygosh this is awesome! I want to grow garlic now and make a spread with the scapes! =) yummmm!!!!!!!!!

  9. I love making pesto, but I have never even heard of garlic scapes! Now I want them! I love garlic in almost everything I cook.

  10. Mmm, this pesto looks tasty! I’ve never ate garlic scapes but may have to keep an eye out for them at the farmer’s market, after seeing this recipe.
    And yes, pine nuts are ridiculously expensive. Why????? Not cool, pine nuts.

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