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Here’s a recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto – perfect for pairing with pasta!
If you love garlic, you will want to give this yummy and easy appetizer recipe a try – this Garlic Scape Pesto recipe is one of our favourite recipes to make in late spring or early summer. Loaded with fresh garlic flavor, this flavorful twist on the classic pesto dish is a great appetizer to serve with chips, crackers, and more!
Pair it with another one of these Incredible Dip Recipes to create a tasty and unforgettable appetizer platter.
Why You’ll Love this Pesto Recipe
If you’re familiar with the bulbs and cloves of the garlic plant, you’ll love this yummy garlic scape pesto. This sauce uses the green “scape” of the garlic to incorporate a grassy and sharp flavor that enhances the pesto and gives it a slightly different flavor than the actual garlic cloves.
Whether you’re looking for a salad topping, a spread for sandwiches, or a dip to be used as an appetizer, this pesto is a delicious option! Pesto tastes especially great on pasta with chicken.
It only requires 4 main ingredients and your choice of seasonings. It’s beyond easy to make high quality pesto right in your own kitchen!
Keep reading for the recipe – why don’t you think of making some of this pesto this year?
Garlic Scape Basil Pesto Ingredients
Use the Scapes while they are still curly – remember, the earlier you harvest them, the sooner the energy goes back into making each bulb bigger.
- 2 cups Garlic Scapes – this green part of the garlic plant has a flavor somewhat similar to chives or scallions but with a subtly pungent flavor that’s unmistakably garlicky!
- 3 tbsp Toasted Sunflower Seeds – provide some texture as well as the delicious roasted flavor.
- 3 cups Fresh Basil – a staple ingredient in any pesto, basil gives your dish a nice fresh and green flavor.
- 1/4 tsp each Salt and Pepper – you can use more or less of each of these seasonings depending on your preferences.
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil – gives your pesto a smoother texture and a subtle oily flavor that pulls all of the ingredients together.
How to Make Garlic Scape Pesto
- Begin by cutting the garlic scapes into pieces about 2 inches long. Roughly chop the basil leaves.
- Place scapes, basil, sunflower seeds, salt, and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Slowly pour the olive oil through the funnel into the bowl as the processor is running, until the pesto is of good consistency.
Garlic Scape Pesto FAQs
What are garlic scapes?
For every single head of garlic that will be harvested, there will be a garlic scape, or stem. Read more about Garlic Scapes here if you like.
It’s important for each of these scapes to be cut off when growing garlic. This way as much energy as possible goes into forming the root garlic bulb and each garlic clove. The bigger we can get them to grow, the wider our smiles.
We pickle a lot of the scapes and you can get the recipe for our Pickled Garlic Scapes here. They are also good to eat fresh and great when added into scrambled eggs and quiches. We also steam them and have them as one of our vegetables at dinner time.
Where can I get garlic scapes?
If you don’t grow garlic yourself, you can often find the scapes being sold at your local farmers market. You’ll have to look in the late spring and early summer, as this is the time of year when the scapes are ready.
Do I have to make this pesto ahead of time?
You can serve this delicious pesto right away. It’s so good alongside some good quality crackers or chunks of fresh bread. This Garlic Scape Basil Pesto can also easily be frozen in an airtight container or in freezer bags. Just pull a container out whenever you like and thaw in the fridge.
If you want to keep it in smaller quantities that are easy to add to things like pasta dishes, you can also portion the pesto into ice cube trays.
Popular Variations and Substitutions
- Skip the addition of basil if you like.
- For a cheesy twist, add some grated Parmesan cheese.
- Add lemon juice for some acidic citrus flavor to lighten things up.
- Instead of sunflower seeds, you can use pine nuts or pumpkin seeds. We find the pine nuts pretty expensive in our area so we use sunflower seeds.
- Serve alongside a round of goat cheese – drizzle some EVOO over the goat cheese and grab some crackers for a special appetizer.
- Pesto is also great to serve with pasta, chicken, stir fry, or to use as a sandwich spread.
More Garlic Posts You’ll Love
- If you want to know more about growing Garlic, here is a 4 part series with everything you need to know. Garlic is very easy to grow, so think about tucking in some cloves this year.
Want to find out which are The 5 Easiest Vegetables to Grow?
Get it here – available only to subscribers!
Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto
- 2 cups Garlic Scapes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 Tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
- 3 cups fresh Basil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place all ingredients except the olive oil into your food processor and blend until smooth.
- Slowly pour the olive oil through the funnel into the bowl as it is blending, until the Pesto is of good consistency.
- Serve immediately. Store any leftover pesto in the fridge.
- The basil can be omitted, if you prefer a more garlicky pesto.
- Add ingredients like Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
- Pine nuts are often used for pesto, but sunflower seeds can be easier to find and less expensive in some areas.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 258mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
originally published 2012; latest update December 2022