While the season for garlic scapes has just passed, I’ve included this recipe for next year. Garlic scapes are the tops, or flowers, of the garlic plant that are snipped off to encourage the plant’s energy to go into producing a large bulb. Scapes appear in farmer’s markets from mid-June to mid-July. When cut, they give off a fresh, mellow garlicky fragrance. I learned this summer that they are a versatile veggie with a mild, delicate garlic flavour. You can steam them like asparagus or cut them into short lengths to toss into a stir fry, saute them in a little olive oil until tender and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice, use them raw, chopped very finely and sprinkled on a quinoa salad or on anything where you would normally use chives or green onions . . . or try this simple recipe for pesto.
1⁄3 c walnuts (or almonds)
3⁄4 c olive oil
1⁄2 c grated parmigiano-reggiano
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 c garlic scapes, top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
Remove the top flowery part and slice the scapes into 1/4 inch lengths. Place the scapes and walnuts in a food processor and process until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. Add parmigiano then add salt and pepper to taste. This recipe makes about 6 ounces of pesto and will keep for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Stir in about 2 tablespoons to a half pound of cooked fresh pasta.