Got scapes? Try Presto Pesto

May 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm 3 comments

Scapes growing in the garlic patch at Edible Earthscapes

Here’s an update on a discovery I made last spring:

Wondering what to do with those ‘scapes? You know those curly stalks that shoot up from the garlic before they flower and are ready to harvest? The green stalks taste just like garlic, and rather nippy garlic at that, so of course you can chop ’em and dice’ em and saute them in butter or olive oil and add to just about any dish.

But there’s something even better you can do with them: make pesto. I stumbled over a recipe in an issue  last spring of Edible Piedmont for Raw Garlic Scape Pesto.

Sounded great, especially since we put pesto on just about everything we eat. Could this be a new easy way to produce my favorite secret sauce?

I was game. I cut Edible Piedmont’s recipe in half for our trial run and threw the following into the blender: 1/4 pound scapes chopped into 1 inch sections, 3/4 cup of olive oil and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Hit “blend” and 60 seconds later I had a pint of something tangy that looked like guacomole and tasted every bit as good as my favorite pesto.

Whoa, that was too easy (no pain, no gain and all that), so I threw in a handful of walnuts (pine nuts would probably be just as good), mashed the blend button one more time, and oh-my-god: presto pesto perfecto. I heated it up and tossed it over leftover spinach/feta ravioli.

I was unstoppable at that point, so I had some Swiss chard sauteed in olive oil with a splash of scape presto pesto on the side. All of this took all of about five minutes, my kind of dinner. I’m sure this will be dynamite on bruschetta or garlic bread, just about any kind of pasta, as well as chicken and seafood.

And here’s a tip for freezing: make presto pesto ice cubes in your freezer tray, then wrap them individually and store them in a freezer bag so you can take out as much as you need when you need it throughout the year.

Thanks, Edible Earthscapes, the lovely CSA that first turned me on to ‘scapes,  and Edible Piedmont (we’ve named this version of garlic scape pesto for you:  Edible Presto Pesto).

–Dee Reid

Entry filed under: Recipes, Sustainable Farming, Sustainable Food. Tags: , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tammy McLeod  |  May 28, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I just learned about scapes this week and am embarrassed at how often I’ve put them into the compost. I’ll check out the recipe.

  • 2. Carol Peppe Hewitt  |  June 2, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    I tried this and it was excellent, and so easy!
    I found the scapes at Will Roberson’s table at the Pittsboro Farmer’s Market. I’m going back tomorrow to get some more! Didn’t follow the recipe exactly (but then I never do..) and it was still great. Such a simple idea! Thanks Dee.

    • 3. sustainablegrub  |  June 4, 2010 at 8:56 am

      Thanks, Carol. Scapes are showing up at Farmer’s Markets all over. I’m just about out of the pesto I made, and froze, last summer, so I’m looking forward to making up a big batch.


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