Green curlicues: arugula & garlic scape pesto

The weather is been so nice for the past month that Gilroy (CA) have a ton of garlic scape.

Just look at how beautiful these greens are! Come to papa. I figured that making a big batch of pesto was the way to get through the pile quickly before the next week runneth us over with even more vegetables.

So I killed two birds with one stone. Along with the scapes, I threw in some boxed organic arugula that I had in the fridge, to the pesto it went. If you don’t have arugula, toss in spinach, kale or chard in its place. You’ll have a slightly different flavour, but it will be really delicious. Add in the remaining essentials (nuts, oil, cheese, salt) and whizz it up into a fragrant little sauce. And I should point out that cheese isn’t needed here. You can make a dairy-less version instead or if you hate walnuts (I know a few who do), then toss in almonds or pine nuts instead. Variety is what keeps pesto from getting boring.

I jarred mine up into glass jars. One stayed in the fridge for immediate sampling, but the other 2 went into the freezer. What can you do with garlic scape pesto? My first impulse was to spoon some into pasta, a delicious no brainer.

Next, we tried it tossed with steamed baby potatoes and that was crazy delicious, especially with a quick squeeze of lemon and a bit of flakey salt sprinkled over top. Next time, I’ll try the pesto as a base for pizza because I’m sure it would be perfect with heirloom tomatoes. And more cheese. If you have any other suggestions on what I can do with my pesto bounty, let me know!

arugula & garlic scape pesto
2 c garlic scapes, cut into bits & the flower head discarded
1 – 2 c arugula (or spinach, torn up kale or chard)
1/2 c walnuts
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese (leave out for a vegan version)
1/4 – 1/3 c olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon (or more)
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t chili pepper flakes

Combine the garlic scapes, arugula, walnuts, cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times. Let the machine run and slowly pour in half the amount of oil along with the lemon juice, salt and chili flakes. Slowly add the remaining oil until you’ve reached a good consistency (you may not need all the oil). Store in a lidded jar in the fridge for a week or freeze in small jars.

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