Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic scapes are the curled flower stalks of hard-necked garlic, which farmers cut back so that the plant redirects energy to the bulb. Scapes have a delicate garlic flavor and make fantastic pesto.


  1. Place nuts in a food processor and process until roughly chopped.
  2. Add the garlic scapes and process until it forms a thick paste.
  3. Add the salt and black pepper. While the food processor is running, add the olive oil in a steady stream; less oil means a thicker pesto, and more oil means a thinner pesto. Add the grated cheese and pulse to combine. Taste and adjust for salt, pepper, and cheese.
  4. To serve with pasta, prepare pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions, draining pasta one minute before done and reserving one cup of pasta water. Place pesto in the hot pasta pot and thin pesto with a bit of the reserved pasta water. Return cooked and drained pasta to the pot and add some more pasta water, if desired. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve with more grated cheese.

Optional: If you’d like to work some veggies into this dish, add two cups of chopped fresh green beans to the boiling pasta a few minutes before the pasta is done cooking, and combine with the pesto as described above.

Storage tip: Garlic scape pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. It also keeps well in the freezer for months. If freezing, do not add the cheese right away. Instead, top pesto with a little more oil to prevent freezer burn, and add the grated cheese after defrosting and before using.