GARLIC LOVERS REJOICE because we are making pesto from garlic ‘scapes’. Early to mid June is the when scapes start to curl and grow as garlic begins to mature. The flavour of garlic scapes is milder than garlic cloves. They are a cross between spring onions and garlic. Garlic scapes are high in antioxidants, which can protect the cells of the body against bacteria and viruses. After COVID, we need to jump on the good health bandwagon.
These garlic curls are the next best thing to fresh garlic bulbs. Snip them off as soon as you see them curl up; before the garlic ripens!
The reason you want to remove the garlic scapes from your garlic plant is that it will suck the life out of your precious garlic bulbs below the ground if you leave them on.
Once you snap the scapes from the garlic plant give them a smell. A-H-H-H-H-H-H-H ! 😊
Garlic Scape Pesto: Fresh or Frozen
Pesto ‘Muffins’ are frozen, then placed in plastic freezer bags and stored in the freezer. Freeze in ice cube trays or small plastic containers or glass jars. Lighter colored pesto has more parmesan cheese added. (see frozen pesto cubes). The small pesto cups have no cheese. Very dark green. It is good to try different recipes.
Garlic Scape Pesto
10-12 garlic scapes ( approx. 1 cups)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (feel free to leave out if you don’t eat dairy)
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper (add as desired)
1 teaspoon salt (add as required to taste)
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon (juice)+ 1 tsp lemon zest
1. Wash and clean your garlic scapes trimming off any hard bits, brown parts or wilted ends.
2. In a food processor add your cleaned scapes and mince them up.
3. Add the seeds, lemon juice + zest and seasoning and stream the avocado oil through the top of the processor until the pesto is combined.
4. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese until blended.
5. Scrape out your pesto into a container or mason jars and store in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.
6. Yield approximately 2-3 cups or small mason jars.
Buying And Storage TIPS
- Garlic Scapes keep well in cold storage.
- Keep scapes in the refrigerator in a paper bag to avoid sliminess (one month).
- Look for long, curved, or curly stalks that are firm and vibrant green.
- Scapes freeze well. Although they will lose some of their garlicy heat.
My favorite garlic scape pesto is on a grilled pizza with fresh mozzarella, basil and mushrooms, drizzled with garlic oil and sprinkled with red pepper flakes. Many garlic scape recipes vary from pine nuts, walnuts, no nuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast and sunflower seeds. Your classic basil is sometimes added plus swiss chard or kale. Parmesan cheese is optional. And…they all taste good!
- Pickled Garlic Scapes– Prepare them just as you would making homemade pickles. Great to munch on like pickles.
- Garlic Scape Butter– Jazz up your butter with minced garlic scapes to create a garlic butter to die for!!!
- Garlic Scape Salad Dressing– This was an easy recipe for us because we use garlic quite a bit in our salad dressing especially for summer tomato salad. Simply add some of your garlic pesto or minced scapes to your dressing and shake away.
- Garlic Scapes and Spinach Frittata– Quick and easy to make and easy to share with the whole family
- Garlic Scape Soup– Garlic scapes make a delicious broth base for just about any soup that you’d want a hint of garlic.
VARIATION: Add Swiss Chard, fresh parsley, fresh oregano in your pesto blend, 1-2 tbs. nutritional yeast ( I always add 1 tbsp. of the edible yeast )
Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta!
(A) Add fresh, thinly sliced, long strips of garlic scapes to the cooked pasta (B) Add a few tablespoons of Garlic Scape Pesto to your finished pasta.
Garlic Scape Pesto Braided Bread
Pesto Braided Bread Recipe -> https://www.ticklingpalates.com/braided-pesto-bread/