Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic scapes are in season at the moment, and they are delicious to use in garlic scape pesto.


What are garlic scapes? 

These are the flower stems found in the center of hardneck and elephant garlic.  These will eventually become flowers, but if left on the plant most of the plant’s energy will go towards this flower instead of towards making bigger garlic bulbs (which is what gardeners generally want).

If you grow your own garlic, you can harvest the scapes this time of year (around June here in the midwest).  You can cut them off as soon as you see the flower start to develop, or after the scapes have gotten a little bigger and are starting to bend over into an upside down U.

Just snap off the scapes at the base or use garden shears.  Be careful not to trim off the garlic leaves — you just want to remove the scapes or flower stalks.

If you want to make use of this fabulous once-a-year herb, here’s a wonderful recipe to try. This no-cook sauce and spread is fast, easy and delicious in all different uses.

Garlic Scape Pesto


  • 8 garlic scapes
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup paremesan cheese
  • 1/2 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Puree the scapes in a food processor with the olive oil.
  • Stir in the parmesan and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste (optional).


How to use:
  • Toss some pesto with freshly cooked pasta and vegetables (add another drizzle of olive oil if needed).
  • Use as a sandwich spread.
  • Mix with cream cheese for a cracker spread.
  • Serve with grilled meats and vegetables.
  • Stir in a scoop to liven up creamy sauces.
  • Stir into cold cooked pasta and chopped veggies for a summer pasta salad.
  • Mix into homemade dips.
  • Whisk with olive oil and a bit of mustard for vinaigrette.
  • Stir into ricotta filling for stuffed shells or manicotti.
  • Use wherever you want a punch of flavor!
The pesto can be packed in small jars and stored in the freezer, or kept in the refrigerator for about a week.


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Post Author: Alicia Bayer

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