Garlic Scape Pesto Via

Garlic Scapes: Grow it! Eat it!

This is the first post in a new series about growing, harvesting, cooking, and eating various plants in your garden called Grow it! Eat it!. There are a number of edibles that gardeners eat plenty of, but that you may not see in the grocery store. If you do happen to find them at the market, they will be available for perhaps a short period of time, so it’s nice to know what to make with these yummy treats when you find them. We will start with garlic scapes.How to Harvest Garlic Scapes Garlic Scape Pesto

Grow It!

If you planted garlic last Halloween with me, then by mid to late June you should have an abundance of curly stems decorating the garlic bed. These are the flower stalks of hardneck variety garlic plants and you will want to remove them for two reasons:

First, removing the scape diverts the plant’s energy into making a bigger bulb below the soil. You want that.

Second, they are yummy! With a mild garlic flavor and the texture of a firm asparagus, they are a delightful vegetable to eat. You want that too.

Harvest garlic scapes by snapping the bottom of the flower stalk as close to the top leaves as possible. They should snap as you bend them just as you would snap the end off of a stalk of asparagus. I like to do this just as they start to make one complete circle to ensure they are nice and tender.

How to Harvest and Cook Garlic Scapes

Eat It!

Okay, so now what do you do with those garlicky curlicues? If you have plenty, then sautéing them is a nice treat. you can cut the scape up into small pieces and add to any sautéed vegetable dish, stir fry, or on their own with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.Cooking with Garlic Scapes

I like to make up a big batch of pesto so that I can add it to my dishes throughout the year. As you can imagine, it imparts a nice garlic flavor with just the right amount of sweetness to pair with pasta and veggies.Green Garlic Pesto

Walnut Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 2 cups roughly chopped garlic scapes
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (reserved)

Put all of the ingredients except the cheese into a food processor and pulse to combine into a smooth paste. Add more olive oil for a smoother consistency and add salt/pepper to taste. If you plan to use this pesto right away, add the grated cheese and blend together for a few more seconds.Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe

If you plan to freeze a jar or so of this pesto, don’t add the cheese at this stage. Pack the pesto into freezer canning jars and label. When you thaw the pesto to use it in the future, add the grated parm then.

About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Libby
    LibbyJuly 9,13

    Fabulous! I haven’t bought these in a few years as I never quite knew what to do with them. someone else, Nantucket Daffodil maybe?, also recently had a post and recipe. So, at our wonderful farmer’s market this afternoon I will look for some: thanks!

  2. narf7
    narf7July 9,13

    An excellent tutorial and a recipe to boot…love this new series :)

  3. Dria
    DriaOctober 20,13

    This sounds delicious! I have only grown garlic twice, first time no problems at all second time they didn’t take. The second time I tried growing them in a container I def want to try growing them again as we go through so much garlic every year in my house and home grown garlic is so much stronger I love it!

  4. Kirsten
    KirstenMay 12,14

    Thank you for sharing this recipe with me for my Garlic Scape Recipe Round Up! It’s now live, and I’m so inspired I cannot wait for my scapes to appear.
    You can see the round up here: or Pin it for later:

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