Garlic scapes are the flower stalks found on members of the Allium family (onions, leeks, chives, and garlic). Garlic scapes, which only appear on the finest hardneck garlic varieties, curl upward as they grow, straighten, and then grow little seed-like bulbs. When the garlic scapes are still in full curl, they are tender and delicious.
A few weeks ago, I picked up some garlic scapes at the farmer’s market. I’d never cooked with them before. At the stand where I purchased them, the grower said she uses them wherever she would use garlic. They can be used in frittatas, pasta and stir fry’s. When you use them in stir fry’s, they add a natural cornstarch like thickener.
We love pesto in the summertime. When I saw this recipe for Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto, I couldn’t wait to try it. Also, I was intrigued because this recipe uses almonds. I always make my pesto with those wonderful, yet expensive pine nuts.
This pesto is a refreshing change from traditional pesto. The garlic scapes add a nice bite and the almonds add a sweetness to the pesto.
Pasta with Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto
Courtesy of Serious Eats
- serves 4 -
4 to 5 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
Large handful basil leaves
1/4 cup almonds, toasted in a dry skillet until slightly browned
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound linguine or other pasta
1. Combine the garlic scapes, basil, and half the oil in a small food processor or blender. Process or blend until the leaves and scapes are finely chopped, then add the nuts and remaining oil. Process or blend until nicely pureed.
2. Remove to a bowl and stir in the cheese. If necessary, add more olive oil to create a loose paste. Season with more salt if needed.
3. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salty water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water, and toss with the pesto. If necessary, add some of the pasta water to create a creamy texture. Serve with more grated Parmesan cheese.
I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum. Also, I am participating in my first Presto Pasta Nights. Pam from Sidewalk Shoes is hosting this week. I love her blog, stop by and check it out.