Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto

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Garlic Scapes are the wild-looking, corkscrew shoots of the garlic plant that, if left unharvested, will straighten and bloom into the garlic flower. By cutting these curly tendrils, we allow the plant to send its energy towards growing a larger bulb underground. They have lovely fresh, mild garlic favor and can be used as you would scallions. They can be eaten raw, sliced thinly in a salad or as a garnish, as well as cooked in a stir-fry or eggs. Or try this unique approach to pesto for a pasta or bread dip.

GARLIC SCAPE AND ALMOND PESTO*
(recipe found at doriegreenspan.com)
Makes about 1 cup

8-10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
1/3 cup slivered almonds (try toasting them lightly)
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Salt

Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle). Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese. If you like the texture, stop; if you’d like it a little thinner, add some more oil. Season with salt.

If you’re not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months.