pesto recipe

Recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto

by Anne Maxfield on June 21, 2012

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


  • bunch garlic scapes (about 20-mine loosely fit my food processor work bowl )
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (toasted)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon


Step 1
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.

Accidental Locavore Garlic Scape PestoNotes: 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!!!”