If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that I love gardening. The payoffs of having a home garden are huge—even with minimal labour—and thanks to the Square Foot Gardening Method (which is what I follow) you don’t need much space to grow your own. This year I decided to try growing something new in my garden, and that crop was garlic. Armed with my gardening spade I planted 68 bulbs at the beginning of this season. Then something amazing happened, they all came up!
Since my garlic first broke soil I have been plotting all sorts of fun recipes to use them in. One coo I have discovered from growing your own garlic is this lovely curly shoot that grows atop of the bulb, also known as the scape. Garlic scape’s can be used in a number of ways, and are especially delicious chopped and topped on a salad, or ground into a pesto; which is how I ended up using mine. More on that soon.
If you’re currently growing your own garlic at home, and are new to the garlic scape, you’ll know that they’re ready to harvest when they have curled. It’s very important that you cut your scape’s before they flower and seed, as it also encourages your garlic to focus its energy on growing the bulb, instead of the flowers and seeds. Something that I learned from two dear friends of mine, Chelsea and Kelly; who also happen to be garlic growing connoisseurs.
When it came time to cut my scapes I knew I wanted to try and make pesto, but wasn’t sure of a recipe. So I went to those same two friends for ideas. The final version (which can be found below) ended up being a perfect marriage of their tips, and a few recipes that I found online. Code for you NEED to try it for yourself.
So far I’ve only tried tossing this recipe with pasta (a dish both my husband and kids loved!) but have plans to spread it on salmon; which given the fresh and flavourful nature of the pesto, will work out nicely.
Give the recipe a go, and let me know what you think of it! I’m pretty confident that it will become your new favourite. Also, if you have any other delicious garlic scape recipes, please comment with them below. I’d love to hear them.
Here’s to trying new things!
Oh PS – I made a big batch of this garlic scape pesto using cashew nuts and a small batch using hazelnuts. Both were equally as good. So you can use whatever nut you prefer. Enjoy!
Garlic Scape Pesto
10 garlic scapes, you can remove the flower bulb, but I didn’t
3 kale leaves, stem removed
1/2 cup of soaked cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts or pine nuts *I soaked mine for several hours to remove the phytic acid. Doing so increases the nutrient level of your nuts by up to 400%; so I highly recommend that you do the same to up the nutritional content of your pesto too
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
Juice of 3 lemons, you can adjust this depending on your preference
Sea Salt to taste
This recipe’s an easy one. Just blend all ingredients in a blender until desired consistency is reached. I like mine to be a little gritty, so typically stop blending before it gets completely smooth. But it’s up to you!