Last year when we started with our CSA, I was introduced to a new plant called the garlic scape. The garlic WHAT? Exactly. Apparently, the garlic scape is the top part of the garlic plant. The garlic cloves themselves are bulbs that grow under ground and the scape is the green part the grows above the ground. The scape is cut off before the garlic is harvested to focus the plants energy on growing the bulb larger. These things are pretty interesting to look at as well.
Up until this point I had never heard of them and who'd have thought you can eat them too. After I got my first bunch I didn't know what to do with them. So my friend sent me a recipes that she found for Garlic Scape & Basil Pesto. If you like traditional pesto sauce then you will enjoy this as well. It is pretty similar, just with an extra kick to it.
Garlic Scape & Basil Pestoadapted from Fort Hill Farm recipe
2 to 2.5 pounds of garlic scapes
2 cups basil leaves
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
3 tablespoon pine nuts
spoonful of pasta water
Remove "whips" from garlic scapes and discard (the whip is the thinner end after the blossom). Chop remaining into 1 inch pieces till you have 2 cups. Dump into food processor.
Add 2 cups of fresh basil leaves to the chopped garlic scapes.
Pour in 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil.
Cover and pulse until well blended, stopping to mix in what gets stuck on the sides.
Add 3 tablespoons of pine nuts to the mixture.
Side note: pine nuts or pignoli nuts taste very nice in your favorite salad! OK, back to the recipe...
Then add in 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese. At this point my mother told me that her traditional pesto recipe calls for some pasta water. So I poured in a small ladleful.
Pulse again until blended. This is what your finished mixture will look like. You can now add it to your favorite pasta or or even spread it on some grilled chicken.
I love pesto on cheese filled pasta like ravioli and tortellini. Delicious!