Each fall, I plant lots of garlic in at least one of my raised beds. I grow a lot, so I don’t have to buy any over the winter. I use garlic in a great deal of recipes, so it’s convenient to just go down to the garage, where it’s stored, when I need some. What’s great about garlic is it provides two harvests: the delightfully loopy garlic scapes and, of course, the heads. In this article, I’m going to share my favorite way to eat garlic scapes: a garlic scape pesto recipe.
My garlic scapes are usually ready sometime in June. If you didn’t plant any garlic yourself, keep an eye out for the scapes at local farmers’ markets.
Garlic scapes are delicious when roasted with potatoes or other veggies. My favorite way to eat scapes is to make them into a pesto. I’ve adapted this garlic scape pesto recipe from a few that I’ve discovered over the years. I stir it into pasta topped with lots of fresh parmesan. You can add less oil and use it as a sandwich spread. And, when I make too much to enjoy at once, I freeze it into ice cubes so I can enjoy fresh pesto until my scapes are ready again the following year—though it usually doesn’t last that long!
Note: Be sure you have a toothbrush or a good helping of mints close at hand after eating a garlic scape-laden meal!
Garlic scape pesto recipe
- 8 to 10 garlic scapes
- ½ cup olive oil (more if you’d like a more liquid consistency, less if you prefer it more crumbly)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ⅓ cup of sunflower seeds (optional, but I enjoy the nutty flavour they add)
- Sea salt to taste
- Grated parmesan cheese (to taste) Note: if you’re freezing your pesto, do not add the cheese. It doesn’t freeze well.
How to make it:
Place the scapes, lemon juice, sunflower seeds and sea salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. Gradually add the olive oil. Store any leftovers in a glass jar in the fridge. Or spoon it into ice cube trays to freeze. Once I have my garlic scape pesto cubes, I pop them out and store them in a resealable freezer bag.
Learn more about growing and harvesting garlic
- The difference between hardneck and softneck garlic
- Choosing garlic varieties to grow in your garden
- When to harvest garlic scapes and garlic
Can you freeze it?
Tara Nolan says
Hi Judy, Absolutely! I freeze mine in ice cube trays.
I’m trying this today! Got 15 scapes from my garden. Does this turn out spicy? My kids complain about eating raw garlic. Can I leave out the parmesan? Dairy-free here…
Tara Nolan says
There is definitely a bite to it! I prefer to cook it, so will heat if I’m making pesto or bruschetta, etc. And yes, you can definitely leave out the parmesan!