Early summer means windows of opportunity. Asparagus starts popping out of the ground and into the farmer’s market bins, spring garlic barely makes an appearance, fava beans, sigh, still waiting, and the most interesting of the bunch: garlic scapes.
I spied them for the first time last summer and thought, well, hmm. Long shoots of dark green tendrils with bulbs on top housing what will eventually be a flower.
When garlic starts to form and harden its bulb under ground it sends up a green shoot. If you don’t trim the stalk, the bulb’s growth will be stunted. Hence, trimming these delicately garlicky stalks not only benefits our appetite, but the garlic as well.
Cradling a bundle of garlic scapes in my arms, I wondered what to do with them. The internet is littered with garlic scape pesto recipes and, although I usually shy away from what everyone else is doing, garlic scape pesto seemed like the perfect way to welcome summer.
Toss with a little pasta, sprinkle just a touch of chive blossoms on top and serve with a chunk of crusty bread, this recipe takes moments to make. I don’t know about you, but as much as I love to cook, quick meals means more time outdoors and since Portland has been dishing out summer days sparingly, I need all the sunshine I can get.
Garlic Scape Pesto Tossed with Orecchiette Pasta
One bundle of garlic scape, flowering bulbs removed and stalks coarsely chopped
One bunch Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino romano
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Juice from one lemon
A few generous pinches of dried tarragon
1/2 cup olive oil
Toss all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to desired consistency.
Top pasta with pesto and serve with a chunk of crusty bread.
I’ve submitted this recipe to the side dish week of Get Grillin’ with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France Cheese, Rösle, Emile Henry, Rouxbe and ManPans. Check them out!