Home Grown n’ Made Garlic Scape Pesto


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!DSC_6080These 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). 

DSC_6101While 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.)DSC_6030

Ingredients: Makes 500mL (2 cups)DSC_6046

  • 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

DSC_6034To prepare:

  1. Roughly chop scapes.
  2. Toast nut very lightly.
  3. All ingredients into a food processor. Easy as pie (except that pie is really not that easy)

Pine Nut Garlic Scape Pesto:DSC_6072 DSC_6062

Pistachio Garlic Scape Pesto:DSC_6058DSC_6069

Cashew Garlic Scape Pesto:DSC_6056DSC_6071

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