If you don’t grow your own hardneck garlic, run to your local farmer’s market and buy some garlic scapes. They are usually cheap, and their season is short, so get them while you can. They have such good flavor. My favorite thing to do with scapes is make garlic scape pesto. I have a nut-free recipe right here, but I decided to try this one that has walnuts:
Garlic Scape Pesto
By Kim O’Donnel
1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup walnuts
¾ cup olive oil
¼-1/2 cup grated parmigiano
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
For ½ pound short pasta such as penne, add about 2 tablespoons of pesto to cooked pasta and stir until pasta is well coated.
I mostly guesstimated on the amounts of things. I probably used less olive oil and more parmesan. We also use waaaaay more than 2 tbsp per 1/2 lb pasta, as well.
How does this compare to the nut-free pesto? It’s smoother; the nut-free one is tangier. I like them both for different reasons. It’s especially handy to have a nut-free recipe around for when we don’t have nuts.
We have loads of garlic scapes right now, so I plan to make a bunch of pesto for freezing. Hurray for scapes! For you locals, you should be able to find scapes at local farmer’s markets throughout June. If you want to drop by and say hello, you can have some of mine.