Garlic Scape Pesto

Eat Your Garlic! It’s a powerful antioxident.

Have you ever told someone you’re coming down with a cold and they say, “Eat some garlic”? Garlic contains powerful antioxidants that protect our cells and can help strengthen the immune system. And while fresh, raw garlic will do the trick, a recent study has revealed that “sprouted” garlic- you know, that old bulb you forgot about that now has green shoots emerging from the cloves- may have even higher antioxidant activity. These new green plant parts actually contain new compounds that may help fight pathogens with more punch.

For a few weeks in the spring, you will start seeing some long, curly, green things at the farmers market.  They’re garlic scapes, the “flower stalks” that grow from the tops of hard garlic plants and are wonderfully delicious to use in your cooking. Young, tender scapes can be chopped and added raw to salads, while the more mature scapes are best sautéed to be added to pasta or omelets. Another popular way to use scapes is to make a pesto sauce with them. There are no rules to pesto making, and we encourage you to experiment with different combinations of herbs, nuts, and cheeses to create your own signature sauce.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Makes about 1 cup

  • 10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted walnuts or cashews
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano- Reggiano
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Pulse garlic scapes, nuts, and cheese in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. Slowly add oil and continue to blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Perfect to serve over fresh pasta, on whole grain toast, or with eggs.

Pesto will keep in the fridge for about two weeks, or frozen for one to two months.

Credit Lauren Antonucci of Nutrition Energy. Lauren Antonucci MS RDN CSSD CDE CDN

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