I confess, I have an addiction. I can eat garlic scape pesto in limitless quantities. Unlike regular basil pesto, which saturates me very quickly, this pesto is habit forming and should be regulated. Garlic scapes, that curly, tender flower stalk produced by all Allium family members (chives, garlic, leeks and onions), appear in the Mid-Atlantic late May to early June. Be sure to purchase them when they first appear, curly and with fresh buds. If the buds aren’t fresh and plump, prepare for a fiery pesto! Farmers remove the scapes to encourage large bulbs of garlic and now have discovered that their market patrons love them. They can be stir-fried, tender parts chopped and added to an omelet or raw in salads..
GARLIC SCAPE PESTO
1/2 lb. organic scapes, top bulbs removed (chopped into 1″ sections)
1/2 C pine nuts
2 c. grated parmesan cheese (substitute romano or asiago)
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil (to achieve the correct texture)
Use only the tender parts of the scapes, peeling bottom ends if tough.
In a food processor, combine the scapes and pine nuts, pulse to chop into a rough paste. Add cheese and pulse. With processor running, drizzle in just enough olive oil to achieve a moist spreading consistency. Taste for salt and add some sea salt if necessary. It depends on the saltiness of the cheese.
Note: I substitute a “lesser” parmesan for economy sake. Using the finest parmesan doesn’t make a tremendous difference because of the strength of the garlic taste.
Possible additions: 1/2 C fresh herbs – parsley, dill, or cilantro
Place in processor with scapes and pine nuts. Enjoy the explosion of flavor!