Garlic Scape Pesto

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This very simple recipe requires lots of taste-testing, so add a little bit of each ingredient at a time until the flavors are balanced. Almonds work just as well as pine nuts and are significantly cheaper. Your best bet is to make this with a mortar and pestle to get the proper texture; if you don’t have one, a knife and cutting board will do. If you are in a hurry, a food processor is fine, but will not save much time and yield poorer results.

Ingredients

  • Garlic Scapes

  • Pecorino romano or parmigiano

  • Lemon

  • Almonds or Pine Nuts

  • Olive Oil

  • Salt

Process (Mortar and Pestle) Best Flavor and Texture

  1. Rinse garlic scapes and roughly chop into 1” pieces.

  2. Coarsely grate about an ounce of cheese and set aside.

  3. Place all of the scapes and a little of everything else into the mortar.

  4. Begin mashing the contents of the mortar with the pestle. Taste the pesto and slowly incorporate more of each ingredient as needed. This is a great way to learn about balancing flavors, but be careful to not go overboard.

  5. Thinner pestos (with more olive oil) are best for pastas or marinades; thicker pestos will hold up better on bread.

Process (Knife and Cutting Board) Next-Best Flavor and Texture

  1. Rinse garlic scapes and finely mince; transfer to bowl

  2. Coarsely grate about an ounce of cheese and set aside.

  3. Slowly incorporate ingredients into the bowl, stirring with a spoon. Taste the pesto and slowly incorporate more of each ingredient as needed. This is a great way to learn about balancing flavors, but be careful to not go overboard.

  4. Thinner pestos (with more olive oil) are best for pastas or marinades; thicker pestos will hold up better on bread.

Process (Blender/Food Processor) Fastest, Least Good Texture

  1. Rinse garlic scapes and roughly chop into 1” pieces.

  2. Add an ounce of cheese to food processor and blend until grated.

  3. Add scapes to food processor in handfuls.

  4. Add olive oil through top hole of processor, or about a tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

  5. Taste the pesto and slowly incorporate more of each ingredient as needed. This is a great way to learn about balancing flavors, but be careful to not go overboard.

  6. Thinner pestos (with more olive oil) are best for pastas or marinades; thicker pestos will hold up better on bread.