We eat a lot of garlic around here. In fact, I would say I use a clove or two in at least 80% of our meals. So when I learned that it was fairly easy to grow your own garlic, I jumped on it. I was fortunate in that my dear friend, Susan, who has a beautiful and productive garden, gave me some of her garlic seed several years ago. The garlic was fabulous and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Something else I love about growing garlic is that you plant it in the fall and basically don’t have to do much to it until it’s time to harvest! However, you do need to cut off the scapes if they are hardneck garlic. The scapes are the flower stalk of garlic and they will use up a lot of energy if left on the plant. By clipping them off, you ensure that the energy goes in to producing a big, fat head of garlic instead! The good news is that the scapes are completely edible and can be used just like garlic.
Back when our children were in middle school together, Susan brought her Garlic Scape Pesto to an event and as soon as I tasted it I asked her for her recipe. She kindly shared it and now we make it every year around this time. It’s delicious served with a good bread but it’s also good slathered on chicken or mixed in with pasta. Just be sure to eat it with those that you love as the garlic does have a nice kick to it!
Garlic Scape Pasta
about 1 cup chopped scapes (softest parts and flower head included)
1/2 cup olive oil (add more as needed for consistency)
8 oz good feta cheese
1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2- 2 cups basil leaves
Hand full of almonds or pine nuts
Mix all ingredients together in the food processor until it’s smooth and the consistency that you like!
A few notes:
Susan highly recommends a creamy, French feta. I’m not always able to find that without going to a cheese monger so I’ve used one from the grocery store (Athena and the like)
There’s a lot of play here in the ingredients. When I called Susan to make sure it was okay if I shared her recipe, she had just updated the amounts that she now uses.
I’ve only used pine nuts in this recipe as we have a nut allergy in the house.
This recipe freezes well!