Does removing the scape from hard-necked garlic really improve the size of the bulb and cloves? That’s the commonly understood wisdom among garlic growers. Whether it is scientifically true or not, garlic scapes are edible and packed with garlic flavour. The scape is the flower stalk that emerges in late spring or early summer, including the unopened flower itself. On hard necked garlic varieties, the scape tends to form a loop before the flower opens — you will know this when you see it! While the scapes can be sautéed and eaten on their own, we like to make this Garlic Scape Pesto recipe for use with pasta, and even as a spread on hearty bread. It’s very easy and quick to make, and who knows? Maybe cutting the scapes will give you a better garlic harvest.
10 garlic scapes
1/3 cup unsalted pistachios (or substitute lightly toasted pine nuts)
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Use a blender or food processor to pulse into a paste the scapes, pistachios, cheese, salt, and pepper. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in olive oil so that it emulsifies. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For pasta, add the pesto to cooked noodles of your choice and thin with an amount of the pasta cooking water to the desired consistency. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.