Garlic Scape Pesto


Pesto is such a versatile recipe and can truly become a staple/go-to recipe year-round when you find one you love.

It’s also perfect for plowing through all those garlic scapes and fresh herbs you may to use in the garden. If you don’t grow your own garlic, be sure to check out your local famers market, or join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, to enjoy some when they are in season.

I have the pleasure of being part of Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program this summer. I’m beyond excited to receiving my box of weekly fresh vegetables. I’m also honoured to be partnering with Andrea and Denis from Grey Arrow Farm to bring you 12 veggie-forward recipes over the next three months. Each recipe featuring an amazing ingredient grown for the CSA box.

Garlic scapes are one of the first ingredients to hit the boxes each year. They are the stems and flowering bud of the garlic plant. They are harvested when the scape starts to curl and spirals back upward. This forces the plant to send all of it energy back toward increasing the bulb size. AKA more garlic cloves! I learnt this the hard way last year when I grew garlic for the first time.

Garlic scapes are a game changer in the kitchen. They are delicious grilled, pickles, sliced in a compound butter, and even pureed into soups, garden dips, or a pesto like this one.

Now, I’ll admit that I thought I knew I liked pesto before. However, there was usually something I couldn’t quite figure out that was preventing me loving pesto just that much more. Shhhhhh… it was the parm… don’t tell my cheese loving friends that. I love cheese and I love a little parm. I’m just not a parm on my pasta kind of gal. I find it takes over and become a bit of a flavour bully on the plate. I finally clued in that I might actually like parm-free pesto even that much more too.

So, I gave it a try with this garlic scape pesto. And I was right! The lemony flavour shines so much more. But if you love parm, it would be pretty easy to adapt this recipe with some cheese too (add more oil if it become too thick).

Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 5-6 garlic scapes, roughly chopped

  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves

  • 2 tbs fresh parsley

  • ¼ cup cashews

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 2 tbs lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a small food chopper, pulse until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Use the pesto on your favourite pasta, sandwich, grilled veggies, chicken, or pizza recipe!