A few months ago, I was perusing a blog written by beloved cook and baker Dorie Greenspan, when I came across a recipe for garlic scape pesto. I’d never heard of scapes, the curly bright green shoots that sprout from the top of garlic plants, but they looked so refreshing and beautiful that I was intrigued. Since scapes have a very short season—they’re gone by the end of June—I filed the idea away in the back of my mind. Over the weekend, a Facebook friend was making garlic scape pesto and yesterday I stumbled upon a table full of them at the Greenmarket. The time had come for me to experiment with scapes! I brought them home and Googled various ways to prepare them. I thought I might skip the pesto, since we had an asparagus version just last week, but when Dorie’s recipe appeared in my search I just couldn’t resist. I did, as always, make a few changes. I used walnuts rather than slivered almonds, because I love walnut pesto; I added a handful of basil, since I have a delightfully fragrant bunch of it in my refrigerator right now; and I used more than a half a cup of olive oil. I slowly added more oil while the mixture pureed until it was at a consistency I was satisfied with. I also substituted Pecorino Romano for Parmesan. I started with 1/3 of a cup but added a tiny bit more at the end before giving the pesto a final pulse in the food processor.
Doesn’t that look like summer? We ate the pesto over farfalle pasta, though Johnny also ate quite a bit of it spooned onto the garlic bread I made. It was deliciously garlicky, so if you aren’t a huge garlic fan, you could probably use less scapes in your version. I think I may freeze the leftover pesto so we can enjoy it once the scape season has passed.
Oh and here is a picture of what scapes look like. I borrowed it from Dorie’s site. I hope she won’t mind.