Garlic Scape, Rocket and Pistachio Pesto

My first encounter with garlic scape was a few years ago at a farmer’s market near my house in London.  I did not know what they were but I was drawn to their vivid green colour, their slender shape and whimsical curl.

The man tending the stall, explained that it was the stalk of the hard-neck garlic plant, a specie closer to wild garlic in flavor, and which is different from the common soft-neck garlic that we purchase in stores. They grow in spring and early summer and eventually bloom. Farmers prefer to cut the hard stems before the flowering occurs, because it allows the garlic bulb to grow plumper and better

Bite into raw scape and you will find it crunchy like a green been but with a muted and mild garlicky flavour.  Trim the top and the ends before chopping it and sprinkling a tablespoon or two over salads. Purée it and add it marinades.  I like to grill mine and serve them with roasted asparagus spears. Scapes are the perfect complement to frittatas, omelets and eggs of all sort.

When my friend Julie came in this morning with a bunch of freshly picked scapes from her garden, I quickly blitzed them into purée. I intentionally omitted grated cheese because I wanted to dollop a tablespoon or two over grilled fish.  I plan to make green rice with the rest.

Ingredients

  • 142 g / 5 oz. wild rocket
  • 30 g / 1.1 oz. dill
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz. toasted pistachio nuts
  • 53 g / 2 oz garlic scape
  • 150 ml / extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Method

  1. Trim the hard end and dry tips of the scapes and chop them roughly.
  2. Blitz them together with the rest of the greens in a food processor and while the motor is running pour olive oil in a slow stream.
  3. Place the pistachios in a plastic bag and break them with a mallet or a rolling pin until coarsely ground.
  4. Incorporate the pistachios with the pesto and season with salt.
  5. The purée will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for one week.
15 minutes

Preparation time

250 ml

Jar

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