Care for a bouquet of garlic scapes? I do! These swan-like beauties are the flower stalks of the garlic bulb which pop up just before the garlic is ready to be harvested. I was going to let them wither away and die, but then I was in Hill Street Grocers in Devonport a few weeks ago and saw they had bundles of the scapes for sale, along with a dip for tasting. Always looking for ways to use the ‘whole’ (waste is one of my pet hates!), I decided to make my own garlic scape pesto using all the scapes that have sprung up in my garden. It was rather delicious! I’ve used it in scrambled eggs, and I am about to slather it on a chia and quinoa pizza base.
Scapes are not quite as strong as using the garlic bulb, but still they pack a good garlicky punch. And they have all the nutritional benefits of garlic bulbs. They are high in vitamin C and B6, calcium and selenium, and even have a decent amount of protein. They may assist to reduce the risk of heart disease, increase oxygen levels in the blood, protect against osteoarthritis and liver and kidney disease, and contain antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
So next time you plant some garlic, don’t chuck away the scapes! Eat them raw in salads, or use them in stir-fries, dips, pestos or grill or roast them whole. Here’s the recipe for the pesto I made 🙂
Garlic Scape Pesto
- 10 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- zest of one lemon
- ½ tsp himalayan salt, plus additional to taste
- ½ cup olive oil, plus additional as necessary
- In a food processor, pulse the chopped garlic scapes 4-5 times with the lemon zest and salt, just to break the garlic scapes up a bit. Add in the toasted walnuts and half of the olive oil, and process until the mixture is smooth, drizzling the rest of the olive oil into the top as the mixture processes. After you have added the ½ cup of olive oil check the consistency – the pesto should be smooth and unctuous looking, and not dry looking or flaky. If necessary, add olive oil a Tablespoon at a time until you have the right texture.
- Taste pesto (be careful, it will be strong!), and adjust salt levels if necessary. Use however you would pesto – get creative with it!