Summertime means pesto time, right? Usually it is basil for me but my friend Lainne at Ethel and Tom’s farm stand in Red Hook told me that Kim, from Second Chance Farm was buying bunches and bunches of garlic scapes to make Garlic Scape Pesto, and I was intrigued.
I wondered if she sautéed the scapes first or just pureed them raw…
Great neighbors and friends
At any rate, I naturally bought several bunches and started to hunt down Kim’s number to text her. But then I saw her husband, Charlie, at the dump on Saturday and he had Kim call me! This is my wonderful small town that I live in, in upstate New York. Everybody knows each other or knows someone who knows that person. And everyone wants to be truly helpful and is so sharing. It is so nice!
So, Kim texted me a photo of her handwritten recipe for this Garlic Scape Pesto. I have made it twice already, shared with my kids, and gotten rave reviews – so thank you Kim!!
And no, Kim does not saute them first. The scapes go in raw, chopped in ¼” pieces so that makes this pesto super easy to make. Way easier than the basil variety! No washing of the leaves and letting them dry and no peeling and chopping the garlic.
Another tip I learned while living in Italy, is to buy Parmigiano Reggiano grated, if you’re going to be making a lot of pesto soon, as it makes it so much easier to be able to skip that hand grating step. Because I went grocery shopping often with my friend Cristina, she taught me this little trick, as I was surprised. She said, “Why spend the time? This is just as good!”
Process it well!
Be sure to add the oil streaming in the food processer while it is running to enable it to fully incorporate. Additionally, this will need a few extra minutes to process as you do want to make sure the raw scapes are very finely chopped.
Here you go with the recipe – super quick and easy. Make with LOVE.
GARLIC SCAPE PESTO – serves 4 – 6 on pasta
1 cup of chopped garlic scapes – use the green part only – up to the bulb but do not include the bulb, chopped into ¼” pieces
1/3 cup walnuts
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grated Parmagiano
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
In a food processor, chop the scapes and walnuts until fine. Slowly add in the EVOO to combine. Add the cheese, a large pinch of salt and 20 grinds of fresh black pepper. Process again until all combined and pureed.
To serve on pasta
Boil your pasta 2 minutes less than the lesser amount of time on your package in well salted boiling water. Before draining the pasta, save about ¾ of a cup of the pasta water.
Combine sauce and pasta with a few tablespoons of pasta water to help loosen the sauce, make it adhere to the pasta better and finish cooking the pasta over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
When the pasta is al dente, serve immediately in warmed bowls. You may add more cheese but I don’t think it needs it. Some additional fresh ground black pepper is nice. A Spumante Brut pairs great!
And of course, you can always add more LOVE.