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Grilled Garlic Scapes Pesto

grilled garlic scapes pestoIt’s funny how easily I can be distracted when trying to write a post.  I enjoy talking about food but there are times when the energy to write seems to evaporate the longer I sit at my desk looking at the computer screen.  I stare out the window hoping for that aha! moment but my thoughts drift.  Any little distraction and my thoughts wonder.  I notice my plants need some attention, or the lawn needs a bit of water, or the windows I have been meaning to clean now seem so dirty, or simply I can’t be asked.  So I give in and head outdoors to clear the cobwebs, get a bit of vitamin D, and tend to my plants.  That was the way I felt pretty much all week until the weekend.  Friday night Mr. S and I tried a new restaurant that just opened – Lot Six.  The food was tapas-style with Asian influences, presentation was unique, and quite delicious.  This inspired me.  The next day we were at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market and I spotted garlic scapes.  I had been meaning to try these last year but never got around to it.

Garlic scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant and are cut to force the garlic bulbs to grow bigger.  Some gardeners throw these away!  The flavor is less pungent than a garlic clove and has a subtle scallion flavor.  How to use?  Think of how you would cook a green vegetable (stir-fry, sauté, steam, grill) and go from there.  I decided to grill the garlic scapes on the barbeque before making my pesto.

garlic scapesMakes about one cup
handful of garlic scapes, bulbs cut off
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful pine nuts
handful basil leaves
small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
extra-virgin olive oil

In a bowl toss garlic scapes with a splash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Pour into a grilling basket and place on medium heat. Grill 5 or so minutes just until char marks appear and scapes are beginning to soften (use tongs to move around for even cooking). Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Using a food processor, add garlic scapes, garlic, pine nuts, basil leaves and pulse until chunky. Add a generous splash of olive oil and process until combined. Then add Parmesan and pulse.  This is where you’ll need a taste test and adjust accordingly.  Serve with bread, as a dip for crudités, tossed in hot pasta, in a sandwich or smeared on chicken.

garlic scape pestoThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  Make the pesto so that it’s easy to spread with little effort.  If it is too thick, thin with olive oil.  This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Enjoy!

Grilled Garlic Scapes Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Garlic scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant and are cut to force the garlic bulbs to grow bigger. Some gardeners throw these away! The flavor is less pungent than a garlic clove and has a subtle scallion flavor to it. How to use? Think of how you would cook a green vegetable (stir-fry, sauté, steam, grill) and go from there. I decided to grill the garlic scapes on the barbeque.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • handful of garlic scapes, bulbs cut off
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • handful pine nuts
  • handful basil leaves
  • small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a bowl toss garlic scapes with a splash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a grilling basket and place on medium heat. Grill 5 or so minutes just until char marks appear and scapes are beginning to soften (use tongs to move around for even cooking). Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Using a food processor, add garlic scapes, garlic, pine nuts, basil leaves and pulse until chunky. Add a generous splash of olive oil and process until combined. Then add Parmesan and pulse. This is where you’ll need a taste test and adjust accordingly. Serve with bread, as a dip for crudités, tossed in hot pasta, in a sandwich or smeared on chicken.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Make the pesto so that it’s easy to spread with little effort. If it is too thick, thin with olive oil. This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

 

 

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