Garlic Scapes Two Ways

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.  H 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 C 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.

Garlic Scapes Two Ways on Punk DomesticsGarlic Scape Hummus:

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.

Categories: Canning and Food Preservation, Food, Garden, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 25 Comments

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25 thoughts on “Garlic Scapes Two Ways

  1. See, this is EXACTLY why I need to move in next door to you. So I can come over at a moment’s notice and eat all your pesto.

    • Please do! I was FREAKING out yesterday over how good this was – and no one to share it with! They boys thought it was yummy – but they like anything, so it didn’t really count. 😉

  2. I never use tahini in my hummus! Our scapes never even make it in the house…someone will eat them straight up every time. I can imagine though that they’d make great stuff.

  3. That is really interesting as I just read about garlic scapes somewhere earlier today and had meant to Google them when I got home to see what they are. Now I know! Very cool!

  4. Ooooh what a good idea – Hummus! We had scapes last night – sautéed with pasta and garlic scape pesto! Yummy. You know my favourite way to eat them though? Pickled. SO beautiful and tasty.

  5. Cynthia in Denver

    Beautiful! Well done!

    Hm. I do not have any scapes on my garlic yet. Boo. It is apparant that you have planted much earlier than I have.

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  7. Isaac

    I think this fall I’ll have to plant some hard necks instead of my usual soft necks so I can make your pesto. By the way, I really like the first photo of the scales on the scale.

  8. I’ve been eating some this spring for the first time. It’s ironic I saw this post because I just kind of came up with the idea on my own. They smelled really good & I love to try new stuff with herbs. So far I’ve substituted them for anything that calls for chives or green onions (stir fry, steak marinade, mashed potatoes, omlette, rice pilaf, etc). They are very VERY yummy!

  9. Rachael

    Thanks for the recipes!! I just received them from my CSA and was so excited to try…I’m going to use them in my mashed potatoes, but I’m also going to try your pesto pasta recipe, too!!

  10. Yum!! We’ve been using pesto as a marinade for smoked chicken, droooool!

  11. I have been seeing garlic scape more and more on the ‘net … wish I could find the actual vegetable sometime 😦

  12. Stephanie

    Because of this post, I’m following you! I just made garlic scape pesto for the first time yesterday (so delish), and will go home and make hummus tonight. Isn’t growing garlic so much fun?

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  14. Annie

    Just bought some for the first time at my farmer’s yummy. Next week I will get more just to try your hummus. Thanks fro the ideas!

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  19. Thanks so much for your posts! I was looking for a recipe for scape hummus and I despise tahini!
    I make it all the time and use artichoke hearts in place of the tahini. I will bee making this today!!!

  20. Steam them like asparagus or add them to stir-fry. They taste like garlic green beans. Sooo good!!!

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  22. Kathy

    THANK YOU for the hummus recipe. Found this last year when I was sick of making pesto that the rest of my fussy family wouldn’t eat (I love it but I have 2 kids under 4), and voila! A great dip that I can eat no problem or take to work and let it disappear. I can take or leave the tahini here. I don’t feel like it adds a ton to the recipe, and it’s so expensive besides.

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