Garlic Scape and Kale Pesto


It’s June, which means garlic scapes! Scapes are the shoots that garlic plants send up to flower. By cutting these off, the energy of the plant is redirected to growing the bulb, and you get a better head of garlic. Scapes are tasty, and I’ve been chopping them up and adding them to veggies. Today I used the rest to make pesto, with basil and kale, since I have a bunch of both.

Next time I may leave out the basil, since it’s overpowered by the strong garlicky scapes.


Garlic Scape and Kale Pesto

This is a rough recipe. An outline. 

a large handful of garlic scapes

a large handful of kale, stripped from the stem

basil, if you want

1/4 c pine nuts

1/2 to 3/4 c good olive oil

1/4 c Parmesan cheese

a splash of lemon juice


Chop the scapes and kale roughly, and toss into the food processor with the basil. You should have about a cup and a half. Pulse until pretty well chopped. Dump in the pine nuts and pulse. Next do the olive oil, then pulse. Then the cheese, then the lemon juice. Scrape down the sides and pulse well. Taste for salt, then pulse one last time after you add in a pinch or two. Store in a jar in the fridge for a while. Alternately, freeze in an ice cube tray, pop out into a ziplock bag and stash in the freezer until you’re craving garlic.

This is good on noodles (my favorite is Jovial egg tagliatelle) or spread onto bread the topped with a little cheese for garlic bread.



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