Come what may, I am bound to think that all things are ordered for the best; though when the good is a furlong off, and we with our beetle eyes can only see three inches, it takes some confidence in general principles to pull us through. – The Stark Munro Letters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Recently Cousin Adair mentioned something about garlic scape pesto. Galic what? Garlic scape pesto!
Evidently, the things that The Man of the House (TMOTH) and I have been composting every year can be turned into delicious pesto!
What are Garlic Scapes?
Garlic scapes are flower buds. They’re removed from the garlic plants to encourage them to make larger garlic bulbs. In the past, we’d cut the scapes off and put them in the compost pile.
In the future, we’re going to cut them off and save them for pesto!
Cousin Adair advises that you leave a few scapes in place. She uses them to help determine when the garlic is ready to be harvested.
Preparing the Scapes
Wash the scapes. Keep only from the bulb on down. Discard the rest.
Cut the scapes into pieces.
A Word About Pine Nuts
Expensive! Pine nuts are expensive! They’re typically used in pesto recipes, but I wanted a less expensive alternative.
I tried both sliced almonds and chopped walnuts. I liked the batches with the almonds better, but only marginally so. Either nut will work fine for this recipe.
Ingredients for Garlic Scape Pesto
154g Garlic scapes, trimmed and cut into pieces
1/3 C sliced almonds (you can also use chopped walnuts)
1/3 C grated Parmesan
1½ Tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1/3 C Olive oil
You’ll need a food processor for this recipe. I have a 3-cup machine and the recipe fits perfectly in it.
Add the garlic scapes to the food processor first. Carefully even them out so that they’re level in the bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil. Pulse the mixture until the scapes begin to break down.
Add the olive oil in 3 to 4 batches, running the machine in between and scraping down the sides as needed. Keep going until the scapes are totally broken down and everything is mixed. This will all take about 1 to 2 minutes.
In the end, this is how the pesto will look.
Put into a covered container and store in the refrigerator. It’ll keep for about a week. You can also store it in the freezer.
How To Use Garlic Scape Pesto
We added some to pasta salad. TMOTH added it to mayonnaise to make a flavored sandwich spread.
Cousin Adair uses it on garlic toast. She also adds it to recipes to give them some extra zip. For example, she’s used it in homemade chicken soup.
However, my favorite use for it so far is to make pesto pasta!
Using Garlic Scape Pesto on Pasta
Cook one pound of pasta.
When you drain the pasta, reserve one cup of the pasta water.
Put 2/3 cup of pesto in a bowl. Add and mix in the pasta water 1/4 cup at a time until you get the desired consistency. I usually hit the sweet spot at about 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Add the pesto/water mixture to the pasta. Stir. Serve with grated Parmesan on top.
This pasta along with a green salad and a heated kielbasa make a great meal. It’s quick to put together and is even good for date night.
Once you move to a new place it can take a while to figure out what’s growing in your yard and what to do with what’s in the yard. A good case in point was a tree in our front yard. It was actually two trees. A cherry tree grew along with a flowering tree that we wanted to keep.
The branches were intertwined and it was a real mess. Luckily The Man of the House (TMOTH) has hidden skills as a tree climber.
He used our Alligator saw to cut down the tree we didn’t want. The Alligator worked great as it’s smaller than a chainsaw so it didn’t hinder TMOTH as he moved through the tree.
Here’s the before photo. See the white birdhouse under the tree?
And here’s the after photo. HUGE difference!
Once all the branches were removed TMOTH used the Alligator to deal with larger pieces and I took care of the smaller pieces.
We added two trailer loads of material to our compost pile. We also saved some cherry wood to use in crafts.
Every time I go into the greenhouse, I’m impressed with all the work that The Man of the House is doing.
He grew the tomatoes from seed.
The peppers are from last year. He kept them alive in the winter via thermal mass. (He grouped them around a large bucket filled with water.) We’ve already eaten a few peppers this year.
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