Garden Fresh Garlic Scape Pesto Recipe
Growing your own garlic is an easy way to ensure excellent flavor and terrific nutrition for you and your family. Garlic is endlessly versatile, adding flavor and nutrients to nearly any type of dish. But let's take a look at the gourmet possibilities of garlic as the main attraction - in this case, hardneck garlic flower scapes.
Hardneck garlic is ideally suited to the coldest climates in America, and thrives in zones 3 through 8. Because it needs the hard cold of a good winter chill, hardneck garlic must be planted in the fall, (unlike softneck which can be planted in fall or in spring). Hard necked garlic is characterized by rich, complex flavors and tasty curling flower scapes that make a gourmet addition all their own. Some use these scapes as a side dish, or for pesto, dips, salads, stir-fry and sauces. Hardneck garlics typically have the most complex flavors, fewer, larger cloves and while well suited to the very harshest of winters, they do not generally store well for more that 3-4 months.
Your taste buds are missing out if you haven't tried Garlic Scape Pesto. This spreadable, dip-able, spoon-able stuff is light, tangy, and fresh. But let me warn you…it is also highly addictive.
Garlic scapes, are the curly, green shoots that emerge in summer from autumn-planted, “hard-neck” garlic bulbs. Growers usually remove these shoots in order to encourage further development of the bulb below. The scapes have a distinct garlic flavor that is potent, but without the stinging bite of a raw clove. You can find them at farmer’s markets, but better hurry — scapes are available only from June through mid-July.
This recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto comes to us from Kevin Lee Jacobs of A Garden for the House - A Guide to Delicious Living. If you have not discovered his fabulous recipes, gardening tips and decorating flair - you are in for a treat!
Garlic Scape Pesto in 6 Easy Steps!
If you think garlic scape pesto tastes good on a cracker, just try it on a plate of pasta! It is a condiment par excellence. This pesto will taste even better if you let it chill in the fridge for several hours (or overnight). Before chilling, place the sauce in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. If you wish to freeze the pesto for future use, seal it in an air-tight tub or zip-lock bag.
If you live and garden in zones 3-8, be sure to add some hard neck garlic to your garden this fall - you will be delighted with the results! For more information on how to choose, plant, grow, harvest and store your home grown garlic, click here!
- Kathleen McCarthy