Garlic scapes, the curled flower from the top of a garlic plant, are abundant at farmers markets and CSAs (community supported agriculture shares) in spring and make an easy, fragrant pesto that can be spread on bread or crackers, put on pasta, used with fish, and as a substitute for garlic, onion, or scallions! Add to sandwiches, pasta, lamb, and fish dishes. Tastes great mixed with mayo.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
total:
10 mins
Servings:
28
Yield:
3 1/2 cups
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Ingredients

28
Original recipe yields 28 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Blend the garlic scapes, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper together in a food processor until smooth.

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Nutrition Facts

108 calories; protein 2.4g 5% DV; carbohydrates 5.6g 2% DV; fat 8.8g 14% DV; cholesterol 3.1mg 1% DV; sodium 57.5mg 2% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (55)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/18/2011
I LOVE garlic scape pesto. So much, that this is my first reveiw! I made this recipe, though I was not exact about the measurements, as I just used all the garlic scapes I had. I don't think you can go wrong--but it's spicy, in the garlicky way! If it's to spicy for you, you can blanch the garlic scapes first. Also, this keeps in the freezer. I put it in 8 oz canning jars, filled 1/2 from top and freeze... Read More
(54)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
06/30/2014
I have to admit this recipe wasn't my favorite. I had never used garlic scapes before and I doubt I will again. Scapes are quite tough and the resulting purée remained slightly chunky even with additional olive oil. I served the pesto over spaghetti and had to eat some of it on toasted baguette to cut the intensity. It's REALLY garlicky and super strong. I think it might be good if you turned it into a cream sauce or added it to other dishes as a garlic replacement but as a straight-up pesto I'm not a fan. Read More
(15)
62 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 43
  • 4 star values: 13
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
07/18/2011
I LOVE garlic scape pesto. So much, that this is my first reveiw! I made this recipe, though I was not exact about the measurements, as I just used all the garlic scapes I had. I don't think you can go wrong--but it's spicy, in the garlicky way! If it's to spicy for you, you can blanch the garlic scapes first. Also, this keeps in the freezer. I put it in 8 oz canning jars, filled 1/2 from top and freeze... Read More
(54)
Rating: 5 stars
07/05/2019
Garlic lovers, this is the recipe for you! Follow it exactly as it is written. We have always made the traditional pesto with basil, parsley and pinenuts; we won't be making that anymore. This recipe far surpasses any pesto we have ever had. We had enough scapes to make 2 1/2 batches and all are tucked away in the freezer where many will be given as Christmas gifts. We used fresh lemon juice as some people are allergic to sulfites that are contained in bottled juice; and a lovely black Malabar pepper. Thanks to whomever came up with this recipe. June 2014; a year later. Just cut the scapes and starting this pesto. I froze what we didnt use last summer in cute little jars and gave them as Christmas presents and birthday gifts throughout the year. Everyone has requested that they be repeated this year. Guess we will have to grow more garlic to satisfy everyone. 2016 - grew MORE garlic; might need to go into business. Great stuff! 2019 giving scapes away; over 600 garlic bulbs. Have shared scapes and this recipe numerous times. Read More
(26)
Rating: 4 stars
10/19/2009
I agree that it has a different texture than basil pesto. It was good on pasta and I also mixed a little into some chicken salad. It kept covered in the fridge for several days. Read More
(22)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/21/2009
It has a different texture than basil pesto but the flavor was good. I added chopped walnuts. Did'nt have pinenuts Read More
(17)
Rating: 3 stars
06/30/2014
I have to admit this recipe wasn't my favorite. I had never used garlic scapes before and I doubt I will again. Scapes are quite tough and the resulting purée remained slightly chunky even with additional olive oil. I served the pesto over spaghetti and had to eat some of it on toasted baguette to cut the intensity. It's REALLY garlicky and super strong. I think it might be good if you turned it into a cream sauce or added it to other dishes as a garlic replacement but as a straight-up pesto I'm not a fan. Read More
(15)
Rating: 4 stars
06/17/2015
It's very good but I would suggest the following: Make half the recipe to start. The sharpness of garlic scapes is not for everyone. Add 1/2 cup walnuts to the full recipe, 1/4 to half recipe. This will help mellow the sharpness. If you have ample scapes, use just the most tender parts of the garlic scape from the tip to just below the flower bud. Cut the scapes into 1/2 inch pieces; the scapes are very stringy and will otherwise get caught in the processor blades. Add cut scapes to the processor gradually rather than all at once. That said, the recipe worked for me! Read More
(13)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/30/2011
Incredible pesto--I made several large batches and froze them--they thaw just beautifully. GREAT for having with pasta dishes or just spread on fresh warm bread in the winter! Read More
(11)
Rating: 4 stars
06/04/2012
This was very good and a very easy way to use up the garlic scapes from my CSA. I added sunflower seeds b/c I like the pine nuts in my usual basil pesto and wanted something similar in this. It came out delicious was easy to make and went very well over whole wheat pasta with some turkey meatballs. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
06/10/2012
This is incredibly easy and so delicious. Great as a dip. Though I can't wait to serve it on grilled pork loin chops. So fresh tasting. Read More
(6)