1 cup chopped garlic scapes
4-5 sprigs parsley (or basil)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon
(1/3 cup pine nuts optional)
In your food processor whiz the garlic scapes & parsley together until they lie flat in the bottom (10-15 seconds). Add the olive oil, lemon and Parmesan cheese one at a time until it looks like pesto. ;) You may need to add a bit more oil if you have big scapes. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Some recipes call for pine nuts or walnuts (about 1/4 - 1/3 cup) but I like the base recipe without. Why? I like using this as a base for many things, and it is easier for me to tweak the basic pesto for each recipe!
- Of course it is awesome as a pesto on pasta (if you want the nuts, add roasted pine nuts when you toss it with pasta).
- It makes a great base for salad dressings (just add more olive oil & a squeeze of lemon to thin and toss into your salad).
- It is wonderful as a condiment on burgers/brats/grilled veggies.
- It is a delicious dressing for steamed veggies like peas, swiss chard, spinach, etc. (after steaming, toss in bowl with the pesto...yum).
- It makes a great dip for veggies or pretzels...mix with some fresh sour cream!
- Use it instead of red sauce on pizza.
- Make it using ramps (instead of scapes) in early spring...oh yeah.
I like making a lot of something at a time - it really makes it easier to just get a bunch done at once. From there, I can freeze small batches, store it in canning jars in the fridge, and of course use some immediately for dinner. It is pretty easy to double/triple this recipe during scapes season - we got some in our CSA box, and found them for sale by the bag full at our neighborhood farmer's market!
Scapes are part of the garlic plant, so contain the same health benefits as the cloves, such as immune system booster and inflammation reliever as well as good calcium, vitamin c iron and even protein! They just have a milder flavor than their bulby base.