One of the great joys of growing hard neck garlic is that they form Scapes. The Scapes turn into flowers, but you want the energy of the plant to go into the bulb and not the flower so you need to cut the Scapes off. The Scapes are incredibly tasty and they make a lovely creamy garlic pesto! The Scapes start out very curly and this is when you want to cut them off. Eventually they will stand straight up, and this is when you know your garlic is ready to harvest. So, if you have lots of Scapes you might want to leave one or two so you know when to harvest. Cut them about where they start to grow out of the plant. Use about 12 inches of the top part. When you cut them you will notice that they become harder to cut, and the stalk becomes more woody, you want to use the easier to cut portion of the scape.
There are many versions of Garlic Scape pesto and they’re all pretty similar, but this is how I like to make it.
Garlic Scape Pesto
- 10 Garlic Scapes chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 1/4 C of chopped Walnuts
- 1 C of Romano or Asiago cheese or a blend of the two
- 1 Heaping T of fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 C, plus maybe a T of Olive Oil (I use extra virgin)
- Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
- Place the garlic Scapes in a food processor and puree until they form a smooth paste, add the lemon juice, walnuts, cheese and olive oil and blend until you have a creamy pesto. Add the salt and pepper and blend a bit more.
- Pesto freezes well, so make as much as you can while you have Scapes and freeze it for later use or it will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge.