Garlic Scape Pesto (4 variations)

Prep time: 7 months of growing time for the scapes, and 5 minutes in the kitchen

Once a year garlic growers are blessed with garlic scapes: the curlicue flowering part of the garlic plant. Gardeners remove them to optimize their garlic harvest. I trimmed mine off and made this delicious pesto that is only for those who are firmly in the I-love-garlic camp. If you don’t have a handy supply of scapes from your garden, check out your local farmer’s market, or if you live in Gibsons, our local IGA often has some from Henry Reed farm in scape season (mid-June).

 

Garlic Scape Pesto Three Ways (Classic, Hint of Citrus or Basil Infused)

Each of these recipes are made identically, and simply vary the flavour by substituting the olive oil

Version 1: Classic For the Garlic Lover

This is absolutely divine in pasta with a drizzle of Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Ricchissimo Balsamico

Needed for this recipe:

Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Robust)
Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Ricchissimo Certified Density Balsamic

Ingredients:

10 Ultra fresh garlic scapes.  Do not buy them ahead and leave them for a week, or they will turn woody. Fresh is best when it comes to garlic scapes (and olive oil)
1/3 cup (+ a couple of Tablespoons extra) Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Robust)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Trim the green tops off the scapes, which is the part above the whiter ‘bulb’.
Cut the scapes into 1-2 inch strips and place them in a food processor.  Spin on low, gradually adding the 1/3 cup olive oil.  Add nuts, then cheese and spin on high until a smooth paste is formed.  For a creamier pesto, drizzle in the remaining few Tablespoons of Olive Oil while the food processor is running.

Version 2: With a hint of Citrus

This version is fabulous on seafood, or pasta with seafood

Needed for this recipe:

Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Agrumato-style Lemon Olive Oil

Ingredients:

10 Ultra fresh garlic scapes.  Do not buy theme ahead and leave them for a week, or they will turn woody.
1/3 cup (+ a couple of Tablespoons extra)Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Agrumato-style Lemon Olive Oil
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Trim the green tops off the scapes, which is the part above the whiter ‘bulb’.
Cut the scapes into 1-2 inch strips and place them in a food processor.  Spin on low gradually adding the 1/3 cup Lemon Olive Oil.  Add nuts, then cheese and spin on high until a smooth paste is formed.  For a creamier pesto, drizzle in the remaining few Tablespoons of Lemon Olive Oil while the food processor is running.

Version 3: Basil Infused

This version is closest to the classic Ligurian pesto.  Try it on pasta, gnocchi, chicken or as a sandwich spread.

Needed for this recipe:

Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Basil Infused  Olive Oil

Ingredients:

10 Ultra fresh garlic scapes.  Do not buy theme ahead and leave them for a week, or they will turn woody.
1/3 cup (+ a couple of Tablespoons extra)Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Basil Olive Oil.

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Trim the green tops off the scapes, which is the part above the whiter ‘bulb’.
Cut the scapes into 1-2 inch strips and place them in a food processor.  Spin on low gradually adding the 1/3 cup Lemon Olive Oil.  Add nuts, then cheese and spin on high until a smooth paste is formed.  For a creamier pesto, drizzle in the remaining few Tablespoons of Basil Olive Oil while the food processor is running.

Alternate Recipe adding citrus to cut the garlic tang

Needed for this recipe:
• Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Aged Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic (optional)

Ingredients:
• 1 pound garlic scapes, cut into ½-inch pieces
• 1¼ cups grated FRESH Parmesan cheese
• 1 cup Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
• 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
• Fresh Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper 

If you like a sweeter flavour, substitute Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co. Aged Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic for the lemon juice.

Recipe:
The ingredient amounts are a guideline. You may need to increase the lemon or olive oil to combat particularly strong scapes, and you may need more oil to make a pesto-like consistency.

Place garlic scapes and ½ cup oil in a blender. Blend until smooth, gradually dribbling in more olive oil until you reach a desired consistency. Add ½ the lemon juice and taste test. Play with oil and lemon amounts until you come to a flavour that is garlicky and strong, but mellowed slightly by the tartness of the lemon. Add Parmesan cheese. Check consistency and add more oil if desired.

Serve over pasta or my other favourite: Matiz wood-fired Spanish Crisp Breads.

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