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.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Years ago we found this recipe for Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake. It works well with fresh or frozen rhubarb. Nutmeg and rhubarb were meant for each other. This recipe demonstrates that.
After baking, this cake can be flipped upside down so that the rhubarb is on the top. OR it can be served, as is, from the pan. It doubles well. Below is my rendition of the recipe.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake


TOPPING (OR the part you put in the pan first)

  • 3 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb .5-.6 lb is about 2 cups
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder or 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour or cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg - essential!
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour OR combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg - essential!
  • 1/4 tsp salt - optional
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream optional


  • Place rhubarb in a well-greased 10-in. heavy oven-proof skillet. Combine sugar, arrowroot and nutmeg; sprinkle over rhubarb. Drizzle with butter; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add the butter, sugar, egg and milk until well-blended. Spread over rhubarb mixture.
  • Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Loosen edges immediately and invert onto a serving dish. I put the serving dish upside down over the baking dish. Firmly holding the 2 parts together, I quickly turn them upside down. Then I let it sit a little to let the cake and rhubarb settle onto the serving dish. Sometimes I need to pull some of the rhubarb off the baking dish and on to the cake.
  • Serve warm or cold. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Original recipe