Garlic Scape Pesto

I make this recipe with ratios. Do the ratio by volume, say, 1 cup to 1 cup to 1 cup to 1/2 cup. (By the way, Ratio by Michael Ruhlman talks more about how cooking is really only a matter of finding the right ratio or proportion. Interesting book!)

1 part scapes*, chopped into 1 inch pieces** (1/2 lb is about 2 cups)
1 part nut – any nut or seed you like – we tend to use walnuts or sunflower seeds
1 part cheese – any cheese you like – we tend to use Parmesan or cheddar
1/2 part oil – any oil or fat you like – we tend to use olive oil

Blend in the blender or process in the food processor. The blender takes more oil, the food processor less. I prefer the food processor. The flavor of this mellows with refrigeration. The pesto can also be frozen. We eat it with veggies, crackers or bread OR eat it plain.

*I use most of the scape. If the stem end is firm or not pliable, like the firm, not-pliable-end of asparagus, I don’t use that part. I find where on the scape it bends naturally and then use it from that point on toward the tip. From the tip end, I only use it if it is fresh. Once it gets dried-grass-like, I cut it back toward the flower umbel and don’t use that part. I do use the pliable stem and as much of the flower and tip as I can.

**I have found that one way to cut these is to put the ends of 5-8 scapes together and sort to straighten them so that you can cut 1 inch off. You sort of hold them together like a coil and feed it out from one hand and cut with the other hand. OR do them 1 scape at a time.

2020 Update – I have found that my food processor only holds about 6 cups. I have also found that I like 1 to 1/2 to 1/2 to 1/4 in proportions. So this year I did this:

  • 3 cups trimmed scapes
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped nuts (shredded in the shredder/grater)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

I layered the scapes, nuts, and cheese in the food processor and then processed it on high. After about 30 sec., I added the oil as it was still spinning. Sometimes I would add some more oil, but usually not. This ended up with a thick mixture that we use as a dip or a spread. If I want to use it in a salad, I would thin it with oil and vinegar dressing.

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