Garlic scapes are the long, elegant necks of the garlic plant that develop as the bulbs are getting close to maturity. They’re quite edible and regarded as somewhat of a seasonal delight due to the fact they don’t store very well. There’s plenty of debate among garlic farmers as to whether it is best to leave the scape on, or chop it off, but there are no arguments over how delicious it is. We used our backyard-grown scapes to make up a pesto. The recipe is pretty simple – in a mortar and pestle, pound up equal parts of finely chopped scapes, toasted pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and a generous amount of olive oil to bring it to consistency. Finally, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
It was gorgeous stirred through some pasta and I bet it would go beautifully spread on a cracker or on some crusty bread as a quick snack before dinner. If you grow garlic or see scapes for sale at your local farmers market, I encourage you to give it a try.