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. I always remove the 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.
Where to find scapes? Well, if you don’t have them in your garden, seek them out at farmers’ markets from mid-June through early-July.
Ready for a new taste-sensation? Let’s make some pesto!
Rinse the bits in cold water, and then drain them in a colander.
And that’s it — you’re done!
The pesto will taste even better if you let it chill in the fridge for several hours (or overnight). Before chilling, scoop the sauce into a glass bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. If you’d like to freeze the pesto for future use, just seal it in an air-tight tub or zip-lock bag.
Need a copy-and-paste version of the above recipe? Here goes:
Garlic Scape Pesto
Kevin Lee Jacobs (www.kevinleejacobs.com)
Ingredients for about two cups:
9-10 garlic scapes
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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