Garlic scapes, if you have hitherto not made their acquaintance, are the curly, green shoots that emerge in summer from autumn-planted, “hard-neck” garlic bulbs. Growers usually remove these shoots in order to encourage further development of the bulb below. The scapes have a distinct garlic flavor that is potent, but without the stinging bite of a raw clove. You can find them at farmer’s markets, but better hurry — scapes are available only from June through mid-July.
Rinse the scapes in cold water; drain in a colander.
Place chopped greens and a half-cup of slivered almonds into the bowl of your food processor. Process for 30 seconds or so, or until a fairly smooth texture is achieved. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.
Then add a quarter- cup grated Parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and process for another 5 seconds or so. Taste carefully — you might want to add more salt and/or pepper. And that’s it — you’re done!
This pesto tastes even better after you’ve refrigerated it for several hours or overnight. Before chilling, place the sauce in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. If you wish to freeze the pesto for future use, seal it in an air-tight tub or zip-lock bag.
Need a cut-and-paste version of the above recipe? Here goes:
Garlic Scape Pesto
Ingredients for about two cups:
9-10 garlic scapes, knobby seed-pods removed and discarded
1/2 cup (2.5 oz bag) slivered almonds
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Special Equipment – A food processor; a rubber spatula
Preparing the scapes - Rinse scapes in cold water, then roughly chop into half-inch pieces.
Processing — Pour scapes and slivered almonds into the bowl of your food processor. Blend for 30 seconds, or until a fairly smooth texture is achieved. Scrape down sides of bowl with your rubber spatula.
With the machine running, slowly add olive oil, and process until thoroughly incorporated, about 15 seconds. Then add the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, and blend for another 5 seconds. Taste carefully — you might like to add more salt and pepper.
Although this pesto is good freshly made, it is even better when refrigerated for several hours or overnight. Before chilling, place the pesto in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Garlic scapes are available only from June through mid-July. Consequently you might want to buy lots of them, as I do, and make several batches of pesto. These you can freeze in air-tight containers for up three months.
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