Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Basil + Scapes = Pesto

Scapes are the flower stems of garlic. They are removed in order to force the garlic plant to put all of its energy into creating bigger bulbs of garlic. Scapes have their own wonderful flavor and can be used in any meal as a substitute for chives or garlic. In the recipe below it was used as a substitute for garlic since we were down to our last clove.

Pesto is an ancient dish whose roots go all the way back to ancient Rome. It can be found in supermarkets, but these are usually made with cheaper ingredients. If you have never made pesto yourself I suggest that you try. It is a wonderful sauce on pasta or pizza. And as always freshly made at home is always better than store bought.


2 cups of Basil
3 garlic scapes or 3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup of Olive Oil
1/4 cup of Parmesan

(It is nice to have a food processor when making this dish)

Rinse the basil and the garlic scapes

Cut the flower part or the umbel from the scape

Put the washed garlic scapes in the food processor and chop them finely

Put the washed basil into the food processor and chop and mix it with the garlic scapes

Next add the Olive Oil through the top of the food processor as it is running.

Then add the toasted pine nuts into the food processor and chop and mix them in

Lastly add the Parmesan into the food processor and chop and mix it in.

Scrape the pesto out of the food processor into a bowl.

Then added it to whatever you desire and enjoy.

Remember that you can make more pesto than you will need and freeze it so you will have some in the long depths of winter.

1 comment:

  1. Several comments/suggestions:
    1. To freeze pesto, you have to make it without the parmesan; and once it's in the freezing container, cover it with a thin layer of olive oil. Add the cheese when it is thawed and ready to use.
    2. It is important to pre-grate the cheese before putting it in the food processor. I've tried it without and, um, the food processor doesn't like it.
    3. In that one picture, it looks like I'm about to cut my hand off!
    4. The recipe actually used 3 scapes AND the single garlic clove we had in the house, and it still wasn't as garlicky as when using regular garlic (of which I generally use more than 3).
    5. Mmm. Pesto. I think I'll go have some.