August 11, 2015
Ready. Made. Presents. People go crazy for homemade deliciousness. Plus, they will think you are really “Locally Conscious”.
I feel like my repertoire is expanding nicely. See folks, I like to cook, a lot, but when something a bit out of my range comes along I tend to get a lot bit nervous, run to the grocery store, buy that said “out of my range” item, plop it in a bowl, and hide the wrapper evidence like a pro. Pesto used to be one of those, but no longer.
Let me start from the beginning, there is a farm about a mile from my parent’s house in Northern Michigan owned by some of our best friends. This isn’t a normal farm, this is a real farm; friendly red chickens (see above), grumpy ducks, two adorable golden labs, a zillion cats that I don’t speak to, white ponies, bay horses, a chestnut gelding named Atticus (Finch), pigeons galore, bright red dirt bikes, and gardens to rival Kensington palace. Dave, the proprietor of this establishment, is a master gardener and grows the most delicious, vibrant produce I have ever seen. When he is feeling generous (constantly), he gives me some of this produce, but last week, he gave me a bag of what resembled really really long green beans with a sprout on top. What do you do in that situation? Accept graciously, and then google!These turned out to be garlic scapes. What does google tell you to do with those? Not much. So I started thinking about that pesto I had bought a month or so ago that still had that raw grocery store taste. Being in an investigative mood, I made a quick trip to the grocery to buy some parmesan cheese, and not one but FOUR types of nuts, and I set out to make the best pesto money can buy (Dave can grow).
While this doesn’t taste like traditional pesto, I served it to Dave and his wife Nancy on grilled chicken and I must say, I sure do think they liked it. Or at least were polite enough to pretend to! But, really, this stuff is divine and goes perfectly with chicken, fish, or a little bruschetta/crostini dish. This can keep up to a week in the fridge, or in the freezer for 4 months. So, pick an adventurous day, hop over to your local farmer’s market or a smaller grocery store and whip up some of this for dinner. (If you end up skipping this recipe and going to the store to buy pesto, I promise I won’t tell anyone.)
Ingredients: Makes 500mL (2 cups)
- 10 scapes
- 50g pistachios, peanuts, cashews, or pine nuts (1/3cup)
- If using peanuts, omit the parsley and lemon and add 2 Tbs peanut butter
- 35g grated parmesan cheese (1/3 cup)
- 160mL olive oil (2/3 cup)
- 1 Tbs lemon zest + 1Tbs lemon juice
- 2 Tbs parsley
- 10 basil leaves
- kosher salt, pepper to taste
- Roughly chop scapes.
- Toast nut very lightly.
- All ingredients into a food processor. Easy as pie (except that pie is really not that easy)
Pine Nut Garlic Scape Pesto:
Pistachio Garlic Scape Pesto:
Cashew Garlic Scape Pesto: