Garlic scapes are in season for about 3 minutes in the early summer, and whenever I see them at the market, I snap up a bunch or two. This week, we were fortunate to get a nice bunch of them in our farm share. I love their silly curliques, and the tangle they make in a bag. The flavor of scapes is milder than dried garlic, and less astringent than green garlic, which makes it perfect for pesto, or the white bean dip I made awhile back.
Mark and I were off work today for the 4th Holiday, and just puttering around the house all morning, when we realized that we hadn’t eaten breakfast and lunchtime was passing us by as well. Digging around in the fridge for something I could whip up quickly, I came up with a bunch of basil whose time was rapidly expiring, and the beautiful bag of scapes which put pesto pasta on the menu. The whole meal was about 20 minutes in the making – now that’s fast food!
Pesto is so simple to make, and so versatile, I seem to make a batch at least once a month in the summertime, so that I can stockpile small cubes of pesto in the freezer for the winter months. I also prefer my pesto without parmesan cheese, and instead garnish the finished dish with parmesan. Pesto also freezes much better without the cheese in it. I topped our bowls of pasta with some leftover runner cannellini beans that were lingering in the fridge, and a few toasted pine nuts.
Garlic Scape Pesto
6-7 garlic scapes, blossoms removed (if garlic scapes are out of season, substitute 1-2 cloves garlic & mince in food processor before adding other ingredients)
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil, approx.
salt & pepper to taste
Chop the garlic scapes roughly into a few pieces each. Place scapes and basil in the food processor and pulse until herbs are finely ground, stopping to scrape down the bowl a couple of times. Add the pine nuts, and pulse again. While the machine is running, drizzle the olive oil in slowly. You’re shooting for a wet consistency for the pesto, so if it’s a little dry after you’ve added the half-cup of oil, drizzle in a bit more. When you’ve got the consistency you like, season with salt and pepper to your taste, and then serve finished pesto over pasta, or warm boiled potatoes, salmon – whatever you like!