Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe

Is pesto a summer staple for you? Like the flavored vinegars from last week, the Accidental Locavore thinks pesto can be made from a variety of (green) things. Since I had a mess of garlic scapes, thanks to my friend Bill, I thought they’d make a great pesto. This is more about technique (easy) and taste, than precise measurements. Pesto freezes well, but leave the cheese out and mix it in before serving if you’re going to freeze a batch. People often freeze pesto in ice cube trays, then pop the frozen pesto cubes out and put them in a freezer container for individual portions. This makes about 2 cups:

Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 1 bunch garlic scapes (about 20 – mine loosely filled my food processor)
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of ½ lemon

In the work bowl of a food processor add the garlic scapes, pine nuts and Parmesan and process until finely chopped. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil. Keep adding until the pesto is the desired consistency—I like it to be a fairly thick paste. Add the salt, pepper and lemon juice, process until mixed. Taste and check for seasoning.


If the garlic taste is too strong for you, add some coarsely chopped parsley to tone it down. You can also substitute almonds or walnuts for the pine nuts. Toasting the nuts always brings out their flavor. Besides the traditional basil pesto, a mix of arugula and basil with a bit more lemon juice is delicious.

I’m going to make some fettuccine, sauté some chopped bacon and mix that with the pesto. Shrimp would also work well here. A dollop in a vegetable soup will give it a good kick. My friend Bill who gave me the scapes “used it as a dip for sugar snap peas. Big hit!!! Then used it on pasta. Très magnifique!!!”


9 thoughts on “Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe”

  1. I just made a batch of this pesto. It smells heavenly and tastes fantastic! I can’t wait to whip up some pasta to go with it for dinner tonight.

  2. Pingback: Plant Your Garlic! « BuzzQuack

  3. I’ve heard of it, but never experienced it (luckily). Have you? I’ve been using pine nuts from Costco or Trader Joes. I’ll have to check the labels.

  4. Hope you buy the more expensive Mediterranean pine nuts, as the cheaper ones (from China) can leave a terrible, metallic taste in one’s mouth for day afterwards. They affect some people much more than others, but that taste is always there to some extent. Have you experienced this?

  5. just in time for our garlic scapes…can’t wait to try it! might not be a bad idea for a shcmear (sp?) on a pizza, too…..

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