If you've never tried my 10-minute garlic scape pesto, now is the perfect time. Think of it as a garlicky pesto that you can add to pasta, pizza or just spread on bread!
I love making condiments and sauces at home because I can easily control the ingredients and flavors. Whether it's homemade balsamic glaze, basil pesto or harissa, making condiments at home is a good way to broaden your culinary expertise and master basic skills.
Table Of Contents:
What Are Garlic Scapes?
You've probably seen them sold in bunches at your local farmers' market. Garlic scapes are long curvy green stalks that grow from the garlic bulb. The flavor is milder than garlic and you can use them in almost any dish. They resemble chives and green onions and usually have a small bud at the end that would become a flower if not harvested.
In recent years, garlic scapes have gained popularity and are being used in lots of different recipes. I love making pesto with garlic scapes: it's almost as if toum (garlic sauce) and basil pesto had a baby!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Garlic scapes: I used 8 to 10 stalks, but you can use more or fewer depending on how garlicky you like the pesto to be.
- Basil: Fresh basil works best for this recipe. Make sure the basil leaves are not brown.
- Pine nuts: You can toast them if desired. If pine nuts are not available, use walnuts, cashews or almonds.
- Parmesan: I strongly recommend purchasing a block of parmesan and grating it yourself.
- Olive oil: Good quality extra virgin olive oil works best for this recipe.
How To Make Garlic Scape Pesto
- Remove the small bulb at the end of each garlic scape stalk. Chop the stalks into smaller pieces.
- Place the garlic scapes in the bowl of a food processor and add the basil leaves as well as the pine nuts and the grated parmesan.
- Blend until all is combined. Pause every few seconds to scrape the sides using a spatula.
- Add in the olive oil and blend for a few seconds so it reaches your preferred consistency. Add more olive oil if you like the pesto to be smoother.
Transfer the pesto an airtight container or a jar and top with olive oil. Seal the lid and refrigerate for up to one week. You can also freeze the pesto in an ice cube tray, the transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Use directly from frozen or thaw in the fridge.
Frequently Asked Question
There is no need to peel the garlic scape stalks; all you need to do is to cut them into smaller pieces so you can fit them in the food processor.
The main reason for a bitter pesto is over blending the olive oil. Once you add the olive oil to the pesto, you should blend it only for a few seconds and if you can, don't even blend it and stir it in using a spoon.
Basil is a key ingredient to make classic pesto and is what I have used here as well. However, you can get creative with the greens and use spinach, kale, arugula or a combination of greens as well. Keep in mind that the pesto flavor would change depending on what kind of green you're using.
Pine nuts are the classic addition to pesto but you can use other nuts including walnuts, almonds or cashews to make pesto as well.
More Basic Recipes To Try
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Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe
- 10 garlic scapes
- ¾ cup fresh basil
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt more if needed
- ½ cup olive oil
- Remove the small bud at the top of each garlic scape stalk. Cut the garlic scapes into smaller pieces.
- Place the garlic scapes in the bowl of a food processor with the basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. Blend until fully incorporated, pause every now and then to scrape the sides using a spatula.
- Add in the salt and olive oil and either blend for just a few seconds or use a spoon to incorporate it. Add more olive oil is you like a smoother consistency for your pesto. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Transfer the garlic scape pesto to a jar or an airtight container. Use in pizzas, pasta, soups, or with chicken and salmon.
- It's best to purchase a block of parmesan cheese and grate it yourself.
- You can toast the pine nuts if desired.
- Make sure not to over blend the olive oil. It's best to incorporate it using a spoon to avoid the pesto becoming bitter.
- If pine nuts are not available, use other nuts such as walnuts, cashews or almonds.
- Store the pesto in a jar or an airtight container and top with olive oil and refrigerate for up to 7 days. You can also freeze it in an ice cube tray, transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Use from frozen or thaw in the fridge.