Saturday, June 29, 2013

Garlic Scape Pesto

How are the farmers' markets in your neck of the woods? The ones in Maine have been open for about a month now. We've been flooded with greens for the past few weeks and now strawberries, radishes, scallions and peas are showing up. Today I skipped the greens, I am sharing a CSA with my cousin and his wife and we've been eating A LOT of leafy greens for the past three weeks, and made a bee line for the fresh basil and garlic scapes. I may also have made a stop at one of the bakery stalls and gobbled up a raspberry and cream cheese pastry. A girl's gotta eat a sweet flaky freshly made pastry when she finds one. Don't tell me you wouldn't do the same.

Have you made anything with garlic scapes before? They are the curly tops of garlic that growers clip off to keep the plant from sending energy away from the bulb. And they are delicious! Not quite as strong as a clove of garlic and "greener" tasting, if that makes sense. I followed my standard pesto recipe, replacing the two to three cloves of garlic with a bunch of garlic scapes.

4 big handfuls of basil
1 bunch of garlic scapes
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup toasted UNSALTED sunflower seeds (I buy mine at Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup of olive oil (add more if you want a looser sauce)
Sea salt to taste

Rinse your basil and pat it dry. Rip the leaves off the stems and put them into the bowl of a food processor.

Rinse and coarsely chop the garlic scapes. Toss them into the food processor. Add the sunflower seeds, lemon juice and olive oil.

Blitz everything until you get the consistency you want, chunky or smooth - it's up to you.

Give your pesto a taste and add salt, blitz it again and taste - yes you will have garlic breath but it's no big deal. Just give some pesto to the next person who walks through the door then you won't have to worry about it.

Package and freeze any pesto that you aren't going to use right away, you want that stuff to stay nice and fresh!

Happy Summer!

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