A versatile pesto that is easy to make and packs a ton of flavor.
Our friends are kind of the best. They ventured over to H Mart (a large Korean grocery store in Niles, IL that I LOVE) and came home with too much produce. That means we got a bag of delicious bok choy and garlic scapes delivered to us – heck yeah! We are such foodie nerds that really you could bring us any food item at all and we’d be pretty stoked.
I love bok choy – simply prepared – seared on the grill or in a hot cast iron pan and tossed with a little chili oil. Easy peasy. But this garlic scape situation was totally new to me. So I bopped around my cupboard and found pumpkin seeds at the ready, and I had spinach and lemon in the fridge, so garlic scape pesto it was!
Trust me when I saw this recipe is BOLD with flavor, which I think is great because you can get multiple uses out of one batch of pesto since a little goes a long way.
We first used the garlic scape pesto on simple grilled shrimp on top of some creamy polenta which was an amazing combo. Then we tossed it with linguine and parmesan and that was delicious too. You could also use this on an Italian sub, some grilled bread, or a tomato sandwich or in eggs, or with seafood, chicken or pasta – the sky is the limit!
Uh, also, if you’re here being all “what the heck is a garlic scape?” – see below!
What is a garlic scape?
Honestly, I had to look it up. Basically a garlic scape is the shoot that comes up out of the ground from the bulb of garlic. They look like long green curly stalks and have a small flower bulb at the top of the shoot. They are typically available at the end of spring and into early summer.
Of course garlic scapes have a garlic flavor, but they also have a slight onion-y thang going on as well. They taste a bit more vibrant than straight up garlic cloves. And let me include a warning here that the garlic flavor in the pesto only grows more powerful over time.
To prepare them for use, just rinse them under water to remove and grit and snip off the roughest part of the bottom (similar to asparagus) and snip off the flower bulb. For my recipe below, you just chop them up into 1 inch pieces or so and toss ’em in the food processor.
I hope you are able to find some garlic scapes and give this one a try! It really was fun to have around to toss into this and that.
Garlic Scape + Pepitas Pesto
- Food Processor
- 12-14 Garlic Scapes
- 1/4 Cup Pepitas
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Spinach
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 Lemon (juice of)
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil (+3-4 Tbs depending on thickness)
- Clean and trim the garlic scapes by rinsing them under water and trimming off the flower bulb and the roughest part of the bottom.
- Slice into one inch pieces.
- Add the garlic scapes and all other ingredients, except for the olive oil to the food processor.
- Start to pulse the mixture and pour in the olive oil slowly until you have used the 1/2 cup. If the mixture is too thick, continue adding olive oil until the mixture is smooth but not totally liquid-y. This took me about 2 minutes running the food processor on low to be the texture I was looking for.
- Once all set to your desired consistency, remove from the food processor and use in one of the quick recipes I list below or rock your own concoction!