What are garlic scapes? Well, I'm glad you asked. Last year I purchased some Chesnock Red Garlic from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and it's almost ready to harvest. It is a nice hard neck garlic, and will be good for drying. About a month before it is time to harvest the garlic bulbs, the plant sends up a shoot in the center that curls and whurls and has a flower head at the end. The idea is to cut the scape off so that the bulb continues to grow. My understanding is that if you do not cut off the scape, the bulb stops growing. This is my first time growing garlic, so bear with me. And if anyone has anything to add on this subject, please chime in.
I already knew I wanted to make Garlic Scape Pesto. I think you know how much I love pesto from this post. While in Norman I stopped by one of my favorite eateries, La Baguette. I have never had anything from La Baguette I didn't like. Ever. And I love their bread, so after a scrumptious slice of chicken and mushroom quiche I bought a loaf of poppy seed and onion foccacia and a baguette.
I sort of snacked on it while I made the pesto. (Sad but true, bread is my crack! Also why I will never be a skinny cook. Never trust a skinny cook!)
I have never seen garlic scapes for sale. I believe you can sometimes find them for sale at Whole Foods, and some farmer's markets. If you're lucky enough to live near Gilroy, CA, the garlic capital of the world, I suppose you might find a garlic scape or two. I know when my daughter and I passed through a few years ago travelling from Santa Monica to Seattle the smell was heavenly. One day I hope to go to their festival where I can indulge my love of garlic all day long, and not have to worry about slaying people with garlic breath!
Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes, flower top removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup walnuts
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
Place walnuts and scapes in the bowl of your food processor. Blend until combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is running, until the olive oil is blended with the walnut/scape mixture. Add parmesan, salt and pepper, blend.
If you are using this on pasta, the recommended amount is 2 tablespoons per 1/2 pound of pasta. I cooked a pound of the cute mini penne pasta and used 6 tablespoons of pesto. I'll leave it up to your taste buds. I also chopped up some fresh tomato and stirred that into mine. (The boys are anti-tomato!) I can't begin to tell you how yummy this was!
I think it would be absolutely delicious with shrimp stirred in, too. Also makes a great bread spread. Perhaps tomorrow I should split the remaining foccacia and make some kind of sandwich...hmmm...would also be good in cold pasta salad, or potato salad...
This little guy was our entertainment while we enjoyed our light summer dinner al fresco.
Shoo. Go away.
I'm not fond of snakes. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~P
Alas, life in the country!