August 11, 2011
Garlic Scape Pesto
I encountered garlic scapes last summer, in my friend Willie's garden. He had us over to dinner, and, after remarkably little slave labour helping to pick the scapes, served us some of his famous handmade fettuccine with garlic scape pesto. He also gave us a giant bag of garlic scapes to take home and play with ourselves.
Unfortunately for all of us, the scapes had gotten a bit on the large size, with the attendant increase in fibrousness. We had to discard a certain amount of each scape, and had to sieve the two dishes that we made - a simple pesto to top pork tenderloin pintxos, and a cream soup. The flavour was wonderful, but lordy, was it work.
This year, we were fortunate to receive scapes again, younger ones this time, from our bacon-curing friend, Rodney. They were much thinner and shorter, and considerably more tender, despite having spent some quality time in the fridge before we got around to using them. We went with pesto on fettuccine, because we liked it so much the first time. This pesto recipe was likely a bit different from the first one we had, but it turned out very well. We used fresh fettuccine from The Ravioli Store, because it is lovely stuff.
Garlic Scape Pesto
Serves 4 - 6
1 cup garlic scapes, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ground almonds
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
Place the finely chopped scapes into a blender or small food processor, along with the almonds and basil. Pulse a couple of times, then add the salt and olive oil. Pulse and then puree until smooth. Taste it, and see if it wants the lemon juice. If so, add the juice and pulse it through. If you are going to freeze some of the pesto, put that portion aside now. If you are using it right away, stir in the cheese and you are good to go: Add to freshly cooked, drained pasta, dab onto any savory appetizer, really, or use as a pizza sauce (that's the likely fate of the bit that's in the freezer, actually). You can also stir it into a soup (white bean, for example...ooh, now I want to try that!), or as a sandwich spread, or use it pretty much as you would use any other pesto.