Garlic scapes— those long, tentacle-like greens that appear every year at farmers markets and in CSA bundles — are some of the most sought after short-season delicacies. Delicate, yet pungent, spicy and garlicky in flavor, scapes are one of my favorites items to grab at this time of year. Knowing that they're quick to go when available, I made sure I made it to the market when it opened last weekend. Sure enough, there were scapes available and I made it out with two bundles, as well as some other favorites.
I love scapes because they're so versatile. I chopped up a few and sautéed them with fresh spinach and bok choy that I ate with an egg. I toss them into stir-fries and salads, but my most favorite thing to make is a garlic scape pesto that I add to just about anything I can. You can freeze it, too, although I've never had it around long enough to do that.
GARLIC SCAPE PESTO
(Recipe from vanillaandbean.com)
Yield: 20 servings
10 garlic scapes, trimmed with the bulb discarded
1/3 cup walnuts or slivered almonds
1/3 cup Parmesan Asiago or just Parmesan
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
** To make vegan, leave out the cheese and add in 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
Trim the garlic scapes by cutting just below the bulb. Discard the bulb/tip and cut the scapes in about 1-inch pieces.
In a food processor, add the scapes, walnuts, yeast, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process by pulsing until the mixture begins to break down. Scrape the bowl down.
With the processor running, slowly add all the olive oil. Continue to process until all the ingredients are incorporated and broken down, about 30-45 seconds, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.
Store in a covered container in the fridge and enjoy within a week. Also, you can freeze the pesto in a jar or in an ice tray. Once frozen, in the ice-cube tray, remove and place in a ziplock bag in the freezer.