Grilled or Pesto — Use Those Scapes!

scapeI’ve spent most of the morning pinching scapes off my garlic plants. And in case you didn’t know it, scapes are quite a delicacy — right up there with fiddlehead ferns in my book!

Both have a short window for when they’re available though. While I’m lucky enough to grab them fresh, straight from the garden, chances are that you can find them at your local farmers market right about NOW! If you do find some, here are two of my favorite recipes for them.

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Grilled ScapesGrilled Scape Recipe

For quick and immediate enjoyment, I’ll grill a bunch of these up for dinner tonight. Just toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and throw them on a hot grill. Give ’em a couple of minutes per side (until they’re a little charred and soft), squirt some fresh lemon on them, and enjoy!

I like to munch them right off the grill. They’re also great with a little goat cheese on top of a grilled flatbread of your choosing.

scape pesto with pastaScape Pesto Recipe

For enjoyment through the year, try scape pesto. It’s surprisingly delicate and delicious. And it can be frozen. Following is the recipe I use from the Crisper Whisperer.


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes*
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • A few generous grinds of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • *grill first if you prefer a more mellow, smoky flavor.


  1. In a small, dry pan set over very low heat, lightly toast the pine nuts, stirring or tossing occasionally until just beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

  2. Combine the scapes, pine nuts, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse about 20 times, until fairly well combined. Pour in the olive oil slowly through the feed tube while the motor is running. When the oil is incorporated, transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the grated cheese. If you plan to freeze the pesto, wait to add the cheese until after you’ve defrosted it.



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