I cook things, photograph them, and put them on this blog so you can make them too, if you want. I have a master's in food studies, hate the word "authentic," and love pierogis. I also run Chicago Food Bloggers.


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garlic scape pesto

Did you see Chef Hugh Acheson's tweet calling out Bon Appétit for referring to Sriracha as the "new king of condiments?" Of course you did. You are so plugged in. "What, is this the retro 1991 issue?" he asked. Hahahaha. Snap! This Sriracha has a lot of ZING! What a problem to have. "I have already heard of the product that my food magazine is recommending!"

Another very important problem that we should probably have a ribbon campaign or awareness month for is when people get too much of a single ingredient in their CSA box. "The Race Against People Having Too Much Kale 5K." You should organize that.

Of course, Hugh is right. Sriracha is so yesterday. Harissa is what's in. And also, what do I do with all of this lettuce, am I right? So much lettuce! (Make lettuce soup). If you read a lot of food blogs, you are probably not tired of hearing what people got in their boxes. Ours started last week and we got a lot of greens - lettuce, kale, spinach. And this week we are getting lettuce, arugula and mustard greens.

Anyway, this is not a real problem and you shouldn't worry about me. I'm sure I can find a support group. But we also got a lot of garlic scapes last week, so I made the obligatory garlic scape pesto. Garlic scapes should just have the recipe for garlic scape pesto printed on them. They are like those crunchy onion things that come in a can and the only thing people make out of them is the recipe for green bean casserole that is printed on the back of the label. (Really, you can use scapes just like scallions).

All that being said, this pesto is delicious! Garlic scapes have a really light garlic-onion flavor, not the pow of the raw bulb. At least these did. I had some a year or two ago where the bulb was much bigger on top and they were much stronger. So don't stereotype. I added a few basil leaves to bump up the fresh flavor and because my basil plant is doing very well. Jealous? I also used half toasted pumpkin seeds and half raw pumpkin seeds because I already had both, but you can use one or the other. Or a different nut entirely. You are an adult! You have agency!


garlic scape pesto

+ 6-7 garlic scapes, chopped roughly to fit in your food processor
+ 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted or untoasted, your call
+ 4-5 medium basil leaves
+ 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
+ 1/2 teaspoon salt
+ 1/2 teaspoon pepper
+ juice from half a lemon
+ olive oil, about 3/4 to 1 cup

Place the 6-7 scapes, 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, 4-5 basil leaves, 1/4 cup Parmigiano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and juice from half a lemon in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are roughly mixed and chopped.

Now, with the processor running, slowly pour the olive through the feed tube. Keep pouring and processing until the mixture is a thick and spreadable, yet not completely smooth.

To store, transfer the pesto to a container and pour a thin layer of olive oil on the top to seal. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Serve pesto on crusty bread or mixed into spaghetti noodles with a bit of the hot pasta water added.

makes about 1 cup of pesto

Reader Comments (20)

mike, these look great! i'm getting garlic scapes in my box tomorrow, and i've never used them before so i'm collecting recipes. i'll have to try this one out :)

also, are you going to all four days of the conference, or just the saturday/sunday portion? i'm doing the whole thing and was curious if you were too.

June 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermeg

I love your writing style - so entertaining! Your pesto sounds delicious!

Last year I was tired of scape pesto, so I cut it into small pieces and sauteed them with carrots and fresh peas for a fresh side dish. I made beans using scapes, kidney beans, bbq rub & some water. They simmered into a perfect side for burgers.

Looking forward to the next month of green recipes!

June 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLara

Hi Meg!

Are you doing the Ward's Berry Farm CSA too? I made this pesto last week, so now I need to figure out something for the scapes coming tomorrow.

I'm only doing the Saturday/Sunday portion. I wanted to do the food blogging thing on Monday, but between the price and taking off work I decided against it. I'm still excited about Saturday/Sunday though! Do you know anyone else who is doing it?

June 15, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

Hahaha, thanks Lara! That's so nice. I'm going to make that potato salad of yours. It sounds excellent.

I put some of last week's scapes in salad and sandwiches. I've seen a lot of recipes for pizza with scapes, so I may try that. My co-worker Janette, who I'm splitting the CSA box with each week, was talking about garlic scape soup, which sounds delicious. Maybe even cucumber scape gazpacho? That scapes and beans dish sounds so excellent as well!

Hope your summer is going well!

June 15, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

hey mike! yeah, i am doing the ward's berry csa - i fell running last week and couldn't pick it up, so i'm getting my first box this week. i used loan money to pay for the whole conference :) but i'm planning to take as many notes as possible - i'll be happy to copy them for you if you're interested.

June 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermeg

I saw about how you fell on your blog! I hope you are feeling better. Maybe I'll see you at the CSA pickup today! I'm splitting the box with a coworker and we switch off weeks to pick it up. And I'm absolutely interested in a copy of your notes! I would really appreciate it. Have you bought your chef's jacket and everything yet?

June 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

i can walk again, which is a major plus after a weekend on the couch! and i'll make sure to write legibly :) i'm trying to get everything together, but so far all i've managed to get is the timer...have you gotten anything yet?

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermeg

I think I found the recipe for tomorrow night's pasta!

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShopCookMake

Thanks, Meg! I think I've bought everything. I just bought it all on Amazon. Although I think the coat is too big. And I'm just using my regular Wusthof knives from my kitchen. I'll see you Saturday.

June 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

If you made it, ShopCookMake, let me know!

June 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

lol... Too Much Kale 5k... you should make a t-shirt.

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Elizabeth

Maybe I will! I just copyrighted that, everyone. All two of you.

June 23, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

Simplest dish ever, but I think you just identified (for me, anyway) the "secret ingredient" of my favorite Chinese restaurant -- Peking Gourmet Inn (http://www.pekinggourmet.com/) -- located in a low-budget strip mall in Bailey's Crossroads, VA (unincorporated- they have a Falls Church address). It's about a 45 min drive from downtown Washington, DC or 15 min or so from Alexandria, VA. Pesto looks awesome and on my menu for next week. Cheers, Mike (fellow gastro-MLA student)

June 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike Garber

Hey, Mike! I have added Peking Gourmet to my list of restaurants to eat at. Maybe I will be in that area at some point - who knows? It seems like scapes have become insanely popular in the past few years. Rightfully so!

June 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

This looks delicious, and somebody is bringing me over a pile of garlic snapes later today. I think I just figured out what's for dinner tonight. Thanks!

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdlacey

Sure thing, dlacey! Enjoy!

July 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

I agree - your writing style is great. (You're an adult! You have agency!) I'm going to take my agency and make some of this tonight, snacking on bread covered in it while trying to decide what to do with all that lettuce.

July 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJR

Thanks, JR. I hope you like it! Now we have a huge bag of basil from our CSA so I think I'm going to make some classic pesto over the weekend. Now I'm reading CityStories!

July 8, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

Great Recipe. We just made 5 batches using our ton of CSA share scapes. We substituted walnuts for the pumpkin seeds because that's what we had in the pantry. We will enjoy some ourselves, and share with friends. Thanks! (Madison, WI)

July 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal Daley

So glad you enjoyed it, Crystal!

July 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

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