Garlic Scape Pesto

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Garlic scape pesto is delicious, healthy, and very easy to make. It’s a great vegetable paste to have on hand and a great way to use garlic scapes. It’s also a great way to preserve garlic scapes.


Garlic scapes are this special crop that we only get once a year. We plant garlic in the fall, then the following year, if we planted a hard neck variety of garlic, we should notice the scape forming about a month before it’s harvest time.

The garlic scape is the flower stalk of the garlic plant. If left on the plant, it will eventually produce a flower that will produce seed. Instead of letting this happen, we harvest the scape so the plant can focus its energy on producing a larger bulb (learn more about garlic scapes here).

Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe…

garlic scape pesto recipe

This crop is special! We only get it once a year. We have a short window to harvest it and then, if it’s not preserved, we have about four weeks to enjoy it fresh. One of my favorite things to do with garlic scapes is garlic scape pesto (also make sure to try roasted garlic scapes, pickled garlic scapes, and fermented garlic scapes). 

Not only is this homemade paste delicious and healthy, but it’s also a great way to preserve pesto since we can easily freeze it for the long term. Let me show you how I make garlic scape pesto…

fresh garlic scapes

Ingredients…

  • Garlic scapes
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Almond flour or 1/2 cup of nuts of your choice (more on this below)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil

Kitchen Tools…

How to Make Garlic Scape Pesto…

Step one – add ingredients to the processor. Start by washing the scapes if you need to. Pat them dry with a kitchen towel and cut them into smaller pieces. The size of the pieces doesn’t matter much, this is more to help the processor process them than anything else. 

Add the scapes to the processor, add Parmesan cheese, almond flour, salt and pepper, and a little bit of olive oil.

Step two – process. Close the food processor and start processing the scapes. As the processor is working, add more olive oil until the paste reaches your desired consistency. Open the food processor, scrape the sides, and taste. Correct seasonings according to taste. Close the processor and give the paste another 30 seconds or so of processing.

garlic scape pesto ready for serving

How to Store this Pesto…

  • In the fridge – add the garlic scape pesto to a jar or any other air tight container that you’d like to use and store it in the fridge. This paste has a lot of olive oil in it so it should last for at least three weeks in the fridge.
  • In the freezer – making garlic scape pesto is a very easy way to preserve garlic scapes if you have a lot of them! And the reason is… Because it freezes very well. All you have to do is place it in a freezer container (I always prefer jars) and stick it in the freezer. It should last at least a year. When you are ready to serve, take it out of the freezer and set it on the counter at room temperature to let it thaw. Then serve!  

How to Serve Garlic Scape Pesto…

  • As a spread – we often spread it on homemade bread, or on crackers. Add a slice of homemade feta cheese or raw milk goat cheese on top of it, a slice of tomato and you have yourself the best breakfast ever. 
  • As a pizza topping – I often use it to make pesto pizza. Make your own pizza dough, spread the pesto on it instead of tomato sauce, crumble your favorite cheese on it, and add your toppings. Then bake to perfection and enjoy.
  • As sauce – garlic scape pesto goes really well with almost any fish dish. If you fry your fish, add it on top when serving as a sauce. If you bake your fish, spread it on your fish before placing it in the oven. 
  • As pasta sauce – another idea is using it as a pasta sauce. You can add it as seasonings to an Alfredo sauce to make something like an Alfredo pesto sauce or just use it right on top of pasta as it is. Seasoning a cold pasta salad with it is another idea. 

Frequently Asked Questions…

Can I use any other kind of nut?

I love using almonds in my pesto recipes simply because almonds are affordable and delicious. However, feel free to use any kind of nut. Pine nuts will work well, walnuts work too, and cashews can work… Try something different each time. You can also mix a couple of different kinds of nuts.

Can I replace the Parmesan with another cheese?

Sometimes I replace the Parmesan with Asiago cheese. Any hard and dry cheese should work.

Does garlic scape pesto oxidize?

No, it doesn’t. Garlic scape pesto doesn’t oxidize like basil pesto. Even when you leave it exposed to air it stays green and doesn’t turn brown.

Can I double or triple this recipe?

Definitely! This recipe makes about two cups of pesto. Feel free to double or triple it if your food processor is large and strong enough to handle it.

Can I make it a vegan garlic scape pesto?

Yes, you can. Simply leave the cheese out of it or replace it with some sort of dry vegan cheese.


I hope that you know how lucky you are to have garlic scapes! If you live in a climate that allows you to plant hard neck garlic varieties, do so… For the bulbs but also for the scapes. Then, make sure to take a few minutes to make garlic scape pesto. I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this simple homemade paste!

More Delicious Recipes…

Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic Scape Pesto

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Processing Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Easy to make, healthy, and delicious garlic scape pesto.

Ingredients

  • 30 garlic scapes, washed and cut into smaller pieces
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus more to reach your desired consistency (I usually end up adding a total of 3/4 to 1 cup of olive oil)

Instructions

  1. Add garlic scapes, almond flour, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup of olive oil to the bowl of the food processor.
  2. Close the food processor and start processing the scapes. As the processor is working, add more olive oil until the paste reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Open the food processor, scrape the sides and bottom and taste. Correct seasonings according to taste. Close the processor and give the paste another 30 seconds or so of processing.
  4. Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge.

Notes

Frequently Asked Questions...

  1. Can I use other kinds of nut?
    I love using almonds in my pesto recipes simply because almonds are affordable and delicious. However, feel free to use any kind of nut. Pine nuts will work well, walnuts work too, and cashews can work… Try something different each time. You can also mix a couple of different kinds of nuts.
  2. Can I replace the Parmesan with another cheese?
    Sometimes I replace the Parmesan with Asiago cheese. Any hard and dry cheese should work.
  3. Does garlic scape pesto oxidize?
    No, it doesn’t. Garlic scape pesto doesn’t oxidize like basil pesto. Even when you leave it exposed to air it stays green and doesn’t turn brown.
  4. Can I double or triple this recipe?
    Definitely! This recipe makes about two cups of pesto. Feel free to double or triple it if your food processor is large and strong enough to handle it.
  5. Can I make it a vegan garlic scape pesto?
    Yes, you can. Simply leave the cheese out of it or replace it with some sort of dry vegan cheese.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 half pint jar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 579Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1017mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 9gSugar: 6gProtein: 17g

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