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|
|* = 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)