Recently a coworker brought in a huge bag of garlic scapes from his garden to share, and I was happy to accept a few handfuls, as I've never had them before and I rarely turn down an opportunity to try a new vegetable.
They look kind of alien-ish, I think. The tops will (I believe) bloom into flowers if not trimmed at this stage.
I always love to try new kinds of pesto, so I whizzed these guys together with some spinach (the garlicky flavor of the scapes by themselves was almost overwhelming), parmesan cheese and nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil of course. Tossed with some whole wheat rotini and some fresh mozzarella, and dinner was a snap.
I cooked 1 lb of pasta and used the entire batch of pesto in the recipe below, along with 8 oz fresh mozzarella chopped into bite sized pieces. Some chicken, sausage or tofu would be a nice addition, or some additional veggies like zucchini and mushrooms. I added a few leftover roasted cherry tomatoes, which added a nice contrast to the rich pesto and mozz.
Garlic Scape and Spinach Pesto
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
8-10 garlic scapes, chopped in 1" pieces
4 ounces spinach leaves
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup toasted almonds and/or walnuts (I used 1/4 cup of each)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
about 1/4 cup olive oil (or more to taste)
In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except the olive oil. Process/blend for 20-30 seconds, then drizzle in the olive oil and continue to process until smooth. Can be made a few days ahead of time (cover with olive oil and store in the refrigerator) and can even be frozen (ditto on the covering with olive oil).