Vampire Pesto

Garlic scape pesto

In a comment on our recent post about garlic scapes, Emily Wilson suggested a recipe for using the scapes to make a pesto. Being ever game and truly wanting some way to use the scapes beyond adding them to flower arrangements I gave the recipe a whirl last night.

As Emily posted it, the recipe was,

8 oz. garlic scapes
1 C. olive oil
2 C. Parmesan cheese

Of course, not being able to leave any recipe unimproved, I made adjustments.

First off, I cut the recipe in half and trimmed the scapes to eliminate the very tips, which where a bit dry due the recent hot weather, and the woodier lower parts.  So, I used  about 3″ – 4″ of the scape surrounding the flower bud.  And, every pesto I’ve ever had included some kind of nut – pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, etc.  so I added pine nuts.  After running the ingredients through the food processor it seemed a bit dry so I added some additional olive oil.  My version:

4 oz. garlic scapes
3/4 C. olive oil
1 C. Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. pine nuts
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

The end result was tasty, but not for the faint of heart.  The garlic taste is very assertive and a bit hot – certainly sufficient to keep any vampires at bay.  Also, the end product looks a bit anemic, although that, too, might be appropriate for a vampire pesto.  In hindsight, I think blanching the scapes would take away a bit of the garlic heat and adding a little parsley would give the pesto a somewhat darker/richer color for better plate appeal.

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