Basil Garlic-Scape Pesto

garlic-scapeI always grow lots of garlic and elephant garlic in our Sunnyvale Garden. During their growing season, all of them start to develop stalks (called scapes) with flower heads. If you want larger garlic heads, then cut off the scapes before the flower head blossoms. You can use the garlic-scapes as a mild version of garlic in many recipes. This dish uses 1 elephant garlic scape with some basil and lemon from the


  • 1/2 cup roasted nuts (for example: pistachio or pine nuts).
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped basil and garlic-scapes*
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • A few generous grinds of black pepper.
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.


Combine the basil and scapes, nuts, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse about 20 times, until fairly well combined. Pour in the olive oil slowly through the feed tube while the motor is running. When the oil is incorporated, transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the grated cheese. If you plan to freeze the pesto, wait to add the cheese until after you’ve defrosted it.

How to use the pesto

Cook your pasta al-dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the pesto to the pasta. Add portions of the pasta water until the pasta is well coated and cooked.

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