This year a few curly green plants popped up in the back side of my garden and I totally forgot what they were. After letting them grow a bit and trying to rack my brain to recall if I had planted anything there last fall, I remembered that we in fact did plant some garlic. After a little more research (you can tell I’m still fairly new to gardening) I found out that they were garlic scapes.
These tall hard-necked green stems pop up out of your garden in the spring allowing for an exciting early harvest. I supplemented them with a few more garlic scapes from Liberty Heights Fresh and began experimenting. First I just chopped a little up and threw it into an omelet, then I was given a recipe for Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto, one I knew I had to try!
We fashioned it into a garlic pesto pasta with straight-from-the-market, zucchini and squash, and topped it all off with crumbled bacon. It was enjoyed on a warm summer evening served cold alongslide my friend Annalise’s tasty bruchetta and cherry tart.
It was the kind of evening summers should be filled with- sipping wine, corralling kids and dogs, the grill on, and dishes being passed around the table as we catch up on each others lives. It’s evenings like these that remind me that I have all I need and should not be in want of all of the other things I sometimes think I need in life.
As for the food… the pesto, let me just tell you, is potent, to say the least. You only need a tad to brighten up a pasta dish or eggs. The almonds take the edge off the pungency but this is a flavor for garlic lovers. We found that the garlic draws out the fresh flavors of the vegetables, and heightens the quality of a simple summer pasta dish. Try finding garlic scapes at your local market this summer and enjoy it on a warm summer evening with friends!
A recipe for garlic scape pesto that can be used with pasta and fresh vegetables or any way you normally use pesto
- *6-8 garlic scapes
- 1/3 grated Parmesan
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds (you could toast them lightly, if you'd like)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- sea salt
- Put the scapes, Parmesan, almonds, and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle). Pulse to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese. If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil. Season with salt.
- If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months, by which time tomatoes should be at their juciest.
- Serve in eggs, spread onto toast, in pasta, mixed with fresh vegetables or however you'd like. This can be used in the same way you use basil pesto.
for a more pungent pesto use 8 scapes but for a milder garlic flavor use 6
For more recipes from our lovely summer backyard dinner, visit CompletelyDelicious.com
Also, you must MUST try this pearly semolina pasta from Liberty Heights Fresh. It was my first taste of it and we loved the nutty flavor and cracker like texture! I imagine it would be good with any fresh vegetable that you pick up this summer with a light sauce, like this pesto, or even simply with olive oil with salt, pepper and cheese.