As the next step in my ongoing quest to document weird-looking vegetables, I bring you the garlic scape.
A garlic scape is a shoot that grows from young garlic bulbs. Typically this shoot is cut off by garlic gardeners, as its presence prevents the garlic from growing nice and fat. How nice, then, that garlic scapes happen to be delicious! Reminiscent of garlic, yes, but a little spicy and maybe even a little nutty. Very fresh and summery tasting.
I made a garlic scape pesto as my first foray into garlicscaping (kind of like landscaping, only completely different). It’s a vegan-ized version of this recipe.
Garlic Scape Pesto (vegan)
8 garlic scapes, sliced (cut off the bulb/tip—you just want the rigid “stalk” part)
1/3 cup almonds
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
freshly-ground black pepper
In a food processor, blend the scapes and almonds until evenly chopped and semi-smooth. Pour the olive in slowly through the feed tube while continuing to blend. Scrape down sides, then blend in the nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Done!
I got almost two cups of pesto out of this recipe, which is enough to coat at least a couple of pounds of pasta. If you can’t use it up inside of a week, pesto freezes nicely. You can make the defrosting of small portions easier by freezing it in an ice cube tray and storing the cubes in a freezer bag.
We tried the garlic scape pesto with linguine, grape tomatoes, and asparagus. You could really use any kind of veggies, of course!
While the water was boiling and the pasta cooking, I sauteed the grape tomatoes in a little grapeseed oil and salt. They probably cooked for about 25 minutes. I like to let them get soft and a little charred (I prick the skin to let the steam out). In the last 5 minutes, I threw in the sliced asparagus. If there’s anything I hate, it’s overcooked asparagus. Try not to let it stay in the pan for more than 5-7 minutes so it stays crispy.
Drain pasta, toss with enough pesto to coat, place in bowl, top with veggies. Add pepper. Super easy, and incredibly yummy. I have a feeling I’ll be making garlic scape pesto a lot this summer.