Allana's Garlic Scape Adventure
Confession : I’m 25 years old, I love food and up until three weeks ago, I had never heard of garlic scapes. I was reading a Bon Appetit magazine I had lying around and stumbled upon a recipe for garlic scape pesto. Immediately, intrigued. Then, a few days later I found a blog dedicated to garlic scapes. Next thing I knew, my mom brought a few packs of scapes home from the local farmer’s market and I figured it was fate. Those stringy garlic lookin’ beans and I were meant to be together.
A few days later, it was just about dinner time and we were all pretty puzzled on how to cook the garlic scapes. I figured pesto, but I also knew there had to be another way. Roast? Chop? Saute? Eat ‘em raw? My mind was spinning. Turns out, all you really need is a little bit of olive oil, sea salt, cracked black pepper and a medium-sized saute pan. Toss in some Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper and you have the world’s easier appetizer. A few days later however, I really was yearning for some pesto. Rather than follow a recipe, I went off the grid and I couldn’t be happier with the results.
Making pesto is so easy that sometimes you just end up overthinking the whole recipe. In front of me I had leftover sauteed garlic scapes, a few tubes of Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs, Chili Pepper and Garlic alongside some olive oil, Parmesan cheese and almonds. Simple enough? I can’t even tell you how many minutes I debated over using pistachios instead of almonds. Turns out, almonds were definitely the better choice, especially in contrast to the scapes.
Instead of following a recipe, I eyeballed this pesto. The beauty about making a sauce like this is that you have a lot of freedom in deciding what to do. And when you’re cooking for one (like I was), you can truly cater to your individual tastes. I myself prefer a lot of Parmesan. My family and friends - not so much. The incorporation of the Gourmet Garden herbs turned this pesto into something unique because the herbs provided a delicacy to the pesto I wouldn’t have found elsewhere. It may seem odd to you that I would add more garlic to an already garlic-based pesto, but the crazy thing about scapes is that they’re not as garlicky as you would think. The addition of the Italian Herbs made the pesto taste fresh, despite the fact I was using leftover, already sauteed scapes. And because I like a bit of heat, the Chili Pepper was just perfect.
I ended up serving this pesto over a bed of spaghetti with lots and lots of Parmesan but in reality, the options for pesto are practically endless. Freeze it for later, use it as a base for pizza, dip veggies in it (especially in a garlic scape pesto - mmm!) or even eat it plain. Seriously, this stuff is so, so, so good. Garlic scapes won’t be in season too much longer so this weekend when you’re at the store or the farmer’s market, be sure to pick up a bunch. You won’t be disapointed
Garlic Scape Pesto (serves 2-3)
- 10 garlic scapes
- ¼ cup almonds
- ½ cup good olive oil
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs
- 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Garlic
- ½ tablespoon Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper
Add the scapes, almonds and all Gourmet Garden herbs to the bowl of a food processor and pulse everything until it’s broken up and blended. Then, with the processor on and running, add the oil a little at a time until it’s fully incorporated. Add the cheese and pulse until its all blended together. Season to taste with salt and pepper
*Sidenote : Another way to prepare and eat garlic scapes is by sauteing them in a medium-sized pan over medium-heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, heat that up, add the scapes, a few pinches of salt and pepper, (Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper if you like spicy) and saute them like they’re asparagus or green beans - tossing every few minutes until they’re crispy on the outside, about 10 minutes.