Around the end of May through mid June, some of our organic Western Rose garlic (and most any hard-neck garlic) send up flowering shoots called scapes. This usually means the bulbs are forming and that harvest is not too far behind.
We cut the scapes off to force the plant to send its energy to the bulb, remove the flowering top and use them much like chives in food. They have an amazing fresh flavor that isn’t as strong as garlic.
Here’s a very simple recipe for garlic scape pesto we enjoyed (pictured above). If local growers have them, they’ll be at your farmer’s market right now. We hope to have more next year.
1/2 cup garlic scapes
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup basil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Toast pine nuts in a skillet. Blend toasted pine nuts with garlic scapes, cheese, basil, and lemon juice in a food processor adding olive oil until smooth. Salt to taste.