One of my favourite things about growing garlic is the arrival of the scape. This is the stem & flower that comes up when you’ve planted a hard neck varietal, such as Music or Russian Red. These little flowers need to be cut off, before they bloom, to allow the garlic to bulb out. So, with my pruning shears in hand, I cut them off when they’ve done one to two loops around.
And an added bonus? They’re devilishly delicious!
Around here, they’re in almost every dish I make during this time of year, as there are many ways to eat this curly-sue: from stir-fries, to tacos, to pickling them for martinis & bloody-caesars. Or even just steaming them with a bit of butter, as a side dish.
But the thing we go through the most is Scape Pesto….
Frozen Pesto Pucksmakes about 6 pucks
Lots and lots of fresh basil (enough to fill a large food processor)
1 bunch garlic scapes, chopped
¾ cup pine nuts, chopped walnuts, or sunflower seeds (depending how po’ you are!)
¾ to 1 cup olive oil, divided
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
juice of one lemon
salt & pepper, to taste
Line a silicone muffin pan with plastic wrap, and set aside. (I like to use a silicone pan, because it’s easier to take the puck out after its frozen.)
Wash and dry your basil, and put it in your food processor. Add the scapes, nuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and ½ of the olive oil. Pulse ingredients, so they don’t jam your processor, until they are the size of small peas.
Then take the safety out of the feed chute, turn processor on low, and pour the rest (or almost all of the rest) of the olive oil in at a slow steady stream until well combined. (I usually just eyeball it). Taste, and season with salt & pepper, how you like it, and blend again just enough to combine seasonings.
Throw it in your freezer, and you’re done!
Now you can thaw, and add this puck to your pasta or a pizza pie for a quick and easy dinner. (When we add it to our pizza, we never end up using the whole thing… so I just mix a little mayo in with the remainder, and spread it on sandwiches. Yum!)