For all my complaining about the weather this year, when I actually get out into my garden I have to acknowledge that it’s coming along pretty well. I’ve had a hard time with some things (salad greens – how odd) but others (red cabbage, fennel) are taking right off. In particular this year my garlic is coming in thick and gorgeous and I’m excited for August when I actually get to pull it up and dry it.
This morning I was out toodling in the morning sun (finally! sun!) and I noticed that my garlic has got scapes going on. Scapes are essentially the seedpod of the garlic, and as cool as they look, they should be removed in order to promote the growth of the garlic bulb. The good news is that they are edible and make a wonderful addition to salads, stirfrys, pasta sauces, and pestos. Basically any recipe that calls for garlic can use scapes instead – because scapes taste like a mild garlic.
This week at the farmer’s market, I bought some scapes and basil to make one of my favourite summer-time recipes – Garlic scape pesto – which is awesome on meat, pasta, or thinned with some vinegar to make a salad dressing. I love this stuff – and mix it with everything when the ingredients are in season. It’s very straight forward to make and takes no time at all:
Garlic scape pesto
Makes 2 cups
2 bunches basil
10 garlic scapes
1/4 cup pine nuts or 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
oil to thickness desired
feta or parmesan cheese to taste
salt to taste (but not too much or it kills the delicate garlic taste!)
Throw the basil, garlic scapes, and pine nuts into a food processor. Chop until fine. Add oil just to moisten ingredients, blend and add cheese and salt. You can make it chunky or smooth (I like my pesto smooth) – and put it on pretty much anything savory. Sometimes I add sundried tomatoes or roasted peppers to the blend. Any which way you make it – this is the best early summer peso ever!