Last spring we harvested our first crop of garlic. At that time I knew that we should cut the scapes, the flowering shoots that hard-neck garlic sends up in the spring, off of the plants so that my bulbs would reach a good size. Once I cut them though, I didn’t quite know what to do with them. I had heard that they were edible, but I was really uncertain on how to use them, so I ended up putting them in a vase to let them keep curling and eventually open up. They were striking, my sister even asked to take some home. But this year, none will be in vases. My pallet is no longer a garlic scape virgin, and there is no going back.
I did a quick search and decided t try a couple of simple garlic scape recipes. They are, honestly, amazing. Checking in my cupboard, I realized that I had all the making of pesto. I was inspired by this recipe, but used 12 scapes and added a bit of lemon juice and ground black pepper to mine.
It is honestly the best pesto I’ve ever tasted in my life. I used my food processor, and chopped it pretty fine. Henry helped me add ingredients to the food processor. I also have to add that the olive oil we recently bought (3 gallons of it) is very fruity and I think it made a big difference in the quality of our pesto.
We used some of the pesto last night to make pasta. I ran to the store to buy these curly-cue noodles in honor of the scapes, specifically for this. For the sauce, I whisked together a good, large dollop of the pesto with about 1/3 cup crumbled feta and half a cup of the hot pasta water until it was fairly smooth. Then I just tossed it over the pasta.
It had an initial garlicky bite that quickly mellowed and was quite delicious. Even Cora loved it. Tonight, I plan to use the pesto as a base for some homemade pizza.
Since I already had the food processor out, I decided to whip together a quick hummus. I didn’t even clean it out, I just added more scapes, a can of rinsed chick peas, salt, juice from the other half of the lemon, and a bit more olive oil.
It is insanely good. I don’t know if it really qualifies as hummus, it doesn’t have tahini (which I don’t care for much), but it is so good. I hope I can make some for a party or, crossing my finger here that I still have scapes, our next potluck.
The garlic flavor is such a highlight. It is much more mellow than using a garlic clove, but still strong, and the color is so beautiful.
I really think garlic scapes would make an awesome addition to guacamole. Today, I think I’ll try making a batch of garlic scape pickles. Just the thought has me salivating.
In a food processor blend:
12 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
juice from 1/2 a lemon
salt to taste
When everything is well combined, add 1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil in a thin stream while the food processor is running.
Pasta with Feta-Garlic Scape Pesto Sauce:
1 lb of pasta
1/3 to 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 – 1/3 cup garlic scape pesto (link above, made with lemon juice)
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining. In a bowl, whisk together the hot pasta water with the feta and pesto until smooth. Toss over drained pasta and serve.
*Any leftover pesto or hummus (yeah, right) can be frozen. Simply put pesto in ice cube trays or a freezer bag (flat). Defrost hummus in fridge overnight and stir in a little olive oil to bring back the creamy consistency.