Garlic scapes are the soft green flowering tops of the hard-necked garlic, similar, I think, to the shoots of a green onion. They are removed before the garlic bulb is fully developed, so that the plant diverts its energy to developing the garlic bulb. They are usually removed before the garlic is fully grown in late spring or early summer.
Garlic scapes can be enjoyed much the same way as garlic or scallions. They can be added to stir fries, pasta, and omelets. I like to use my scapes to make pesto. I took a classic basil pesto recipe and substituted the garlic with garlic scapes, which adds a spicy garlicky flavour. Perfect if you like garlic!
Pesto tastes great on pasta or homemade pizza. It can also be added to omelets, salads, grilled vegetables and bruschetta or used as a spread for sandwiches and burgers. If you happened to pick up some scapes and do not know what to do with them, try making the pesto below.
Basil and Garlic Scape Pesto
- 2-3 Garlic scapes, cut into 2” segments
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup Parmesan
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients except the oil into the bowl of a food processor. Pour in oil in a thin stream while pulsing, until the mixture is pureed. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
To make pesto pasta, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and return to pot. Add enough pesto to coat pasta.
Linda @ the Wholesome Kitchen