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Wondering what to make with garlic scapes? Here’s a simple garlic scape pesto recipe. Use it with grilled meat, spread onto pizza, or swirl in a yogurt dip!

Simple Garlic Scape Pesto | A Couple Cooks
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Last weekend Alex and I went to our local farmer’s market and I posted a photograph on Instagram of our bag of produce, complete with garlic scapes. What to make with garlic scapes? I asked. We were both completely surprised by the amount of engagement of this topic. So many people had something to say about how to use garlic scapes! Grilling them was a popular choice, but the most popular of all: garlic scape pesto.

I was surprised by the amount of interest around garlic scape recipes since they’re very niche, seasonal produce. Alex and I have been writing a vegetarian food blog for 8 years, and in the early days a farmer’s market find like garlic scapes would have minimal interest. So we’re so very excited to learn that so many of you also are wondering what to make with garlic scapes! Here’s a bit of info on garlic scapes, followed by our garlic scape pesto recipe.

Related: Easy Vegan Pesto

Simple Garlic Scape Pesto | A Couple Cooks

What are garlic scapes?

Garlic scapes are the stalks that grow out of bulbs of garlic. They’ll eventually bloom flowers if you don’t harvest them, so they’re typically harvested before flowering. You can recognize garlic scapes from their long and curly stems. Garlic scapes are similar to scallions, but have a much stronger, garlicky flavor.

Where to buy garlic scapes

When are garlic scapes in season? You’ll find garlic scapes popping up at your farmer’s markets in early summer: mid-June and early July. They likely won’t be available at a supermarket, so a farmer’s market is the best bet for where to buy garlic scapes. You can also grow garlic scapes in your garden!

What part of garlic scapes do you eat?

When Alex and I started making our garlic scape pesto recipe, we actually had to search the internet quite a bit to understand what part of the garlic scapes to eat! We finally found out that you remove and discard the bulb end (where the end flairs and turns a bit white). You also remove any tough stems from the other end of the garlic scape (this may have already been done prior to purchase). Once you’ve done this, you can chop the garlic scapes into pieces and process them into the pesto.

Simple Garlic Scape Pesto | A Couple Cooks

What to make with garlic scapes

Garlic scape pesto was by far the most popular suggestion to our question on Instagram about what to make with garlic scapes. For our garlic scape pesto recipe, we used walnuts instead of the traditional pinenuts, because they’re cheaper and we typically have some on hand. We also added basil, which helps to amp up the green color and provide another flavor to complement the garlic.

After tasting, I will say a little goes a very long way with this garlic scape pesto! Instead of eating it off of the spoon like I did, I’d consider spreading a thin layer onto grilled meat or pizza dough, or swirling a bit into yogurt and adding salt and pepper to make a delicious yogurt dip. Remember: it’s potent stuff! So you’ve got fair warning.

The other popular answer to our question about what garlic scape recipes to make was to place them on the grill and grill for a few minutes until charred. I love this idea and would love to try it out. However, we like the garlic scape pesto since it makes quite a bit and you’ll be eating off of this jar for weeks.

Looking for more pesto recipes? 

Looking for more garlic recipes? 

This recipe is…

This garlic scape pesto recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Garlic Scape Pesto | A Couple Cooks

Garlic Scape Pesto


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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x

Description

Wondering what to make with garlic scapes? Here’s a simple garlic scape pesto recipe. Use it with grilled meat, spread onto pizza, or swirl in a yogurt dip!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 garlic scapes (½ cup chopped)
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more if desired

Instructions

  1. Chop the garlic scapes: Remove and discard the bulb end of the garlic scapes. Then remove any tough stems from the other end of the garlic scapes and chop them into small pieces.
  2. Place everything except the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. Then turn on the machine and drizzle in the olive oil. Add additional olive oil if desired for a runnier consistency. The resulting pesto is very garlicky, so use it sparingly!
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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3 Comments

  1. Asa says:

    This was great – I bought some garlic scrapes at my Farmers Market, but wasn’t sure how to use them. I whipped up a batch of this pesto and tossed 1/2 of it with some cooked linguine and garlic-sauteed shrimp. Was super tasty, almost felt too fancy for a weeknight meal! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite says:

    I just went to our local farmer’s market this weekend! I’ll definitely have to be on the lookout for garlic scapes next time.