Since garlic scapes have come into season I’ve seen at least three people make pesto out of them, so I figured I’d give it a try and use some of the pickled ones I’ve had sitting in the fridge the past couple of weeks. Using the pickled version for this pesto gives it a nice acidic sour edge which I really like, particularly good for breakfast. The scape portion of the garlic plant (the above-ground twisty green stalks) are generally removed during cultivation in order to assist the plant in bulb growth, which is the part of the plant we generally use. The scape has a fantastic garlic scent and flavor, but it’s obviously less intense than the bulb itself.

Pesto isn’t just for pasta, it’s great slathered on fish, drizzled on some flatbread pizza, as a burger topping, or used like a chimichurri on grilled steak. Pretty much anything that requires condiments warrants pesto contemplation. This particular recipe would lend really well to a burger as the pickle taste reminds me of a nice garlicky relish. Definitely a sandwich winner.

If you’ve got scapes and don’t know what else to do with them – try grilling them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, tossing them into soups and stews, or blending them into other food-processor-preparations such as hummus and assorted dips.

Pickled Garlic Scape Pesto: yields about 1/2 cup depending on consistency.

*note: you can use plain raw garlic scapes for this if you haven’t got any pickled, or click here for the pickle recipe I used.

1/2 cup                pickled scapes, chopped

3-4 TB                 olive oil, depending on what consistency you like

1 TB                     grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp                    toasted sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or walnuts

-Blend in a food processor (or double the ingredients to make it large enough to use a blender) until smooth, use straight away or keep in the fridge.


And just for fun, some stats from Wikipedia. The largest producers of garlic worldwide,

28 million tonnes worldwide, annually!

Top 10 garlic producers worldwide
Country Production (tonnes) Footnote
 China 20,000,000 F
 India 1,150,000 F
 South Korea 339,113
 Egypt 309,155
 Russia 239,312
 Bangladesh 233,609
 Ethiopia 222,548
 Burma 213,000 F
 United States 195,910
 Ukraine 171,400
World 24,836,877 A
* = Unofficial figure | [ ] = Official data | A = May include official, semi-official or estimated data
F = FAO estimate | Im = FAO data based on imputation methodology | M = Data not available
Source: UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)[20]
Posted by:Ashley

14 replies on “Pickled Garlic Scape Pesto

    1. Hi Jenna! I just skimmed your site, congratulations on the new side biz’ you have going on! I’ve given you a follow on Instagram, wish I knew sooner 😉 !!

      1. Hi! I’ve been growing the business for the last year and a half…hence why I’ve hardly had time to blog. I followed you back as well. Your photos are as stunning as always.

  1. Perfect timings as young garlic is almost in season here in Australia. Its worth noting that although China is by far the biggest producer their garlic is typically bleached and doesn’t compare to the flavour from organic locally grown garlic…..

    1. I absolutely agree! Some of the local stuff we get around here (way up in Ontario, Canada) is super pungent… in the best way possible! Can’t compare!

  2. I’ve just used up a small mountain of scapes but have printed this off along with your pickled scapes recipe to use next year. And I agree with Laura above – I plant my own garlic and when I run out – I buy Ontario garlic – it’s SO much better.

  3. I am a garlic fanatic, I make pesto for spreading on breads and usually I make basil pesto, will try this one. As its looking Great idea – using pickled garlic scape, Thanks for sharing Ashley.

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