Garlic scape pesto is the besto!

Once again we have given you garlic scapes, those spicy, fabulous extra somethings that appear when it is time for hard-neck garlics to flower! We want the plant to put all its energy into growing those beautiful garlic cloves underground, so when the scapes come out we chop them off tout suite. And then we have the opportunity to make that spring time favorite: garlic scape pesto!

I love all kinds of pesto. I should OD on it during the months when the basil is really kicking, but it never seems to get old. This recipe makes a tangy, lemony spread that goes great with sandwiches, pitas, pasta, salad wraps, pizza… just about everything!

Note: because I did not have as many garlic scapes as was recommended, I used basil to make up some of the bulk of this batch. The recipe below is the adaptation I made from a recipe I found on Vanilla and Bean. The cool thing about pesto, is that really any green will do. You can even make pesto from carrot tops or spicy radish greens!

Chop off those flowers and set them aside.

So, you are gonna wanna dust off your food processor for this one. We just moved into our tiny house at the farm a few months back, and the cuisinart has been sitting on top of the cabinets for quite some time! Chop the bulbs off of the garlic scapes, you only want to use the stems. Put the scapes, pine nuts, basil, parmesan, and olive oil all into the chopper! Hit pulse and let it spin until the mixture is pretty smooth. You may have to pause and scrape it down a few times with a spatula.

Still needs some more cuisinart time!

Once it is pretty smooth, add your salt and pepper and lemon juice. Feel free to adjust the liquids so that you get the consistency you like!

Then you just spoon the concoction into your storage container of choice! Pesto freezes well, which is awesome for when you need a taste of spring in mid-winter! Some folks put them in ice cube trays so that they get nice little cubes of pesto they can toss in with pasta. Last year I put a bunch in ziplock bags and let them freeze flat on a cookie sheet, which made it easy to break off sections when I was ready to cook. This year I am trying these cute little 4oz Ball jars!

As you can see, there was just slightly too much from this batch to fit completely in two jars. Luckily I found a solution!

No problem! 🙂 I stuck one in the freezer and one in the fridge. This stuff was amazing on the egg and cheese (and pickled radish!) sandwiches that we made for dinner. Yay!


  • 5 garlic scapes
  • ~2 packed cups of basil
  • 1/3 C pine nuts or almonds
  • 1/3 C parmesan, shredded
  • 1/3 C lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • A few grinds of pepper
  • 1/3 C olive oil

Honestly, washing the dishes takes longer than it takes to mix up this amazing stuff, and it is so worth the time. Store-bought has NOTHING on homemade!