Thursday, June 14, 2012

Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic scapes are the flowering stalks of a particular variety of hardneck garlic, Rocombole (also known as serpent garlic) due to the curling scapes it produces. If you are fortunate enough to have garlic growing in your garden, save those scapes!  I have zero land whatsoever (don't even suggest windowbox gardening.. my dogs enjoy eating dirt.. 'nuff said), but fortunately I have an awesome farmers market that sells 'em to me dirt cheap.

To be honest, I have never had garlic scapes before. They kind of fit into the category of wild edibles (like ramps, fiddleheads and dandelion greens) that I SHOULD be able to forage for but since I don't know anything about identifying wild plants and all the dandelion greens in my 'hood have dog piss on them I resort to shelling out too much money to get my fix. 

Nine dollars a pound for fiddlehead ferns?  I mean, c'mon...they're freaking FERNS!


Garlic scapes at the farmers market were 10 for a dollar, so I went for it.  You can't buy anything for a dollar these days so I considered it a steal.

When I asked some friends (and google) what I should do with my scapes, having never prepared them before, pesto was the number one response.

I can make pesto in my sleep I've done it so many times, so this came together in about three minutes.

For you unexpericed pesto makers, it will probably take you all of 10 minutes, and that's if you're making it doped up on vicodin.

In other words... this recipe is QUICK. I especially love quick when I've been at work cooking ten hours and can't think about picking up my knife ONE. MORE. TIME.

It will save you from another beer and popcorn night.

Toss it with some pasta, spread it on some toasted baguette, use it as a sandwich spread, dip raw vegetables into it, toss it into a grain based salad. 

Endless options.

Garlic Scape Pesto (makes 1 c.)

6 garlic scapes
1 c. fresh basil
1/3 c. walnuts
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. sea salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

Cut garlic scapes into 1 inch pieces. Place in a food processor with the basil, walnuts, parmesan, and lemon juice.  Process into a coarse paste.  With the motor running, slowly stream in the olive oil and process until fully combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Store leftover pesto in a glass jar covered with a thin layer of olive oil (to preserve the color).  Or... have a friend over and eat the entire batch.

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