Garlic Scape Pesto

By Abby Getman

I look forward to garlic scapes with the same excitement as I do strawberries. In order to make this tasty treat last year round and wow guests throughout the seasons, I stock-pile garlic scape pesto in small containers in my freezer so I can break them out for an easy-to-please appetizer to spread on any bread-like substance. Your ideal scape is dark green, has curled around to form a circle, and flower bud has not yet become plump. The scape is the flower stalk, and is essentially the pruned part of the garlic. In order to get well formed bulbs of garlic, you must pluck the scape before it flowers so it spends more time producing larger bulbs rather than beautiful flowers. The result is a playful, smooth and rounded shoot that is as thick as a pencil and with strong garlic flavors that are well balanced and easily paired with other seasonal delights.

Total time: 15 mins

Makes: About 1 Qt


1 lbs Garlic Scapes

2 cups Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

2 tsp Salt

3/4 cup Nuts (I’ll use almonds, pine nuts or walnuts)


1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cracked pepper to taste

Roughly chop scapes into pieces (usually no longer than 2 in) and add them to a food processor or blender with the olive oil and salt. Pulse 10 times at 3 second intervals, then add desired nuts, cheese, and pepper. Blend for 2 minutes, taking time to scrape the sides of the food processor or blender as needed. The consistency should be chunkier than your average Basil pesto, but if you want to thin it out, add more oil and puree on high. With ample oil, this can keep for quite a while in the fridge, or freeze it for up to one year. To portion it out, I suggest freezing amounts in ice cube trays and holding for long term in zip-lock bags or small cup containers.