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Garlic Scape Pesto

June 26, 2011
Garlic Scape Pesto

I recently bought a bag of garlic scapes from a farmer for $1.50 out of culinary curiosity. It wasn’t until I got home and surveyed my own garden patch that I realized I had armfuls of the stuff myself, free for the picking.  Garlic scapes are the tops of garlic plants, and they are cut to help the garlic heads grow bigger.

I chopped some up and put them in a salad, but they’re a bit tough and a pain to chop. You can also steam the stems like asparagus and serve them with butter. I decided to make a pesto, and here I hit garlic paydirt. The pesto stays bright green for days and shocks you with a garlic hit, but not as pungently as fresh garlic cloves.  I eat spoonfuls of it, and spread it like butter on bread, and I’ve discovered there is a limit to how much of it you can comfortably eat in one day.

Garlic Scape Pesto in Jars

Garlic scape pesto would be great broiled with fish, roasted on chicken, grilled with pork and rack of lamb, or tossed with roasted potatoes.  Try it with pasta alone, or mix into tomato sauce, or on top of sliced tomatoes.  As an appetizer spread it on a sheet of puff pastry with chopped sun dried tomatoes, roll it up, slice and bake for zesty palmiers.   

Picked Garlic Scapes

  • Two large fistfuls of garlic scapes
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lemon – peel and juice
  • pinch of kosher salt and dash of pepper


  1. Blend all the ingredients together
  2. Keep in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week
  3. Or freeze in plastic bags


Garlic Scapes galore in my messy garden


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Stan permalink
    July 3, 2011 6:49 pm

    Someone has to reply and ask the obvious question 🙂
    What IS the limit you can eat in one day ?

  2. Marycay Doolittle permalink
    April 16, 2012 9:06 pm

    I will try this come July/August. Might can some in small jars instead of freezing it. I noticed you don’t add pine nuts as with basil pesto. We always have so many scapes I’m happy to try something new. I usually saute them, sometimes with others veggies.

    • April 17, 2012 12:07 am

      I decided no nuts. It’s very garlicky, but I love it. It’s good mixed into tomato sauce or spread on roast chicken.

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