There’s something about shopping at a farmer’s market that makes me so happy and calm. Maybe it’s seeing the bounty of local produce, or maybe it’s just the ability to pick-out my fruits and vegetables outside in an open-air setting. I have been a member of One Straw Farm’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program for many years now. Over the years, there are certain items that I look forward to getting from my share. Strawberries. Heirloom Tomatoes. Garlic Scapes.
Are you familiar with garlic scapes? Until I joined the CSA, I hadn’t tasted a garlic scape. And now, I’m addicted! Garlic scapes are the flower buds of the garlic plant. Typically, the scapes are removed from the garlic plant in early June, to encourage the garlic bulb to thicken and grow. Garlic scapes are a delicious way to add that delicious garlic flavor and a burst of fresh green to any recipe.
Garlic scapes are available for only a short period of time, so when I can get them, I get lots of them! I love to make a pesto from garlic scapes, it’s a simple recipe with a pungent flavor. The pesto freezes very well, so I make several batches of my pesto recipe and freeze it in small jars. When the craving for garlic scape pesto strikes in the middle of the winter, all I need to do is defrost a jar and mix it into a big pot of creamy risotto or into pasta. I’m immediately transported back to the summertime flavor of fresh garlic scapes.
My garlic scape pesto couldn’t be easier – just 5 ingredients! Do yourself a favor and buy several bunches of garlic scapes now. Make several batches of the pesto and freeze them for later. A delicious dinner will be easy to prepare and on your table in no time!
Garlic Scape Pesto
Ingredients: (use organic whenever possible)
1/3 C pepitas
1 bunch garlic scapes, chopped into 1” pieces (approximately 1 cup)
2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 t sea salt
Put pepitas in a small skillet and toast over low heat until lightly browned and fragrant, approximately 5 minutes. Be careful to watch the pepitas, they burn quickly! Once toasted, remove from the pan and allow to cool.
To the bowl of a food processor, add the chopped garlic scapes and toasted pepitas. Process until the scapes are finely chopped. Add the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil and salt. Continue to process until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary. Taste for seasoning, add more lemon juice or salt, if desired.
At this point, the pesto can be used immediately, or stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
To use, mix pesto with cooking water from pasta, or dilute with some hot water or extra-virgin olive oil, prior to mixing into hot pasta, rice, or potatoes. The pesto is very think and pungent!
Recipe yields approximately 1 cup of pesto
Pesto keeps in a sealed container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator or up to a year frozen
Substitute sliced almonds for the pepitas, if desired
Use pesto on your favorite pasta, rice or potato salad, or as a delicious topping to a flatbread or pizza