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Dive into the culinary world of garlic scapes with our fresh pesto recipe. These intriguing, curly stems of hardneck garlic plants are harvested early in the season. Their removal allows the garlic plant to focus its efforts on a flavorful garlic bulb that we'll harvest later in the season. Two delicious crops for the labor of one! Our approachable recipe replaces traditional pine nuts with budget-friendly sunflower seeds, providing creaminess and rich flavor. Armed with a food processor, you'll have this delicious sauce ready before the pasta has finished boiling.

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Yields1 Serving
Prep Time3 minsTotal Time3 mins

Ingredients

 Food Processor
 1 cup Oak Spring Farm garlic scapes (about 10-12 scapes), cut into 4 inch lengths
 ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds, or any tasty raw nut you happen to have
 ½ cup extra vergin olive oil
 ¼ cup parmesan cheese (best is a Parmigiano Reggiano) (optional)
 ½ cup basil leaves
 juice of one lemon

Directions

1

Note: Always taste your ingredients. Garlic scapes can have varying levels of garlicky spice. If you want a mellower garlic flavor, you can either roast or blanch the garlic scapes before starting the rest of the recipe.

2

Order matters when making pesto. First place the garlic scapes in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds.

3

Add the sunflower seeds and pulse for about 30 seconds, until they are broken down and mixed well with the scapes.

Scrape down the sides of the food processor.

4

While running the food processor on high, drizzle in the olive oil. The slow addition will help the oil form an emulsion.

5

If your pesto will be added to something relatively cold (like pasta salad or bruschetta), you can add the cheese to the food processor and pulse until the ingredients are combined. Otherwise, grate the cheese to add it to the dish at the end so you don't end up with a melty mess.

6

If you are serving immediately, add the basil and lemon juice to the food processor and process until reaching the desired consistency. If not, add these ingredients right before serving so you don't lose the vibrant color of the basil.

7

Add salt to taste and serve over pasta (I'm obsessed with gemelli right now) or crusty bread. Alternatively use it in a marinade or mixed with breadcrumbs to make a crust for roasted chicken or fish.

DifficultyBeginner

Ingredients

 Food Processor
 1 cup Oak Spring Farm garlic scapes (about 10-12 scapes), cut into 4 inch lengths
 ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds, or any tasty raw nut you happen to have
 ½ cup extra vergin olive oil
 ¼ cup parmesan cheese (best is a Parmigiano Reggiano) (optional)
 ½ cup basil leaves
 juice of one lemon

Directions

1

Note: Always taste your ingredients. Garlic scapes can have varying levels of garlicky spice. If you want a mellower garlic flavor, you can either roast or blanch the garlic scapes before starting the rest of the recipe.

2

Order matters when making pesto. First place the garlic scapes in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds.

3

Add the sunflower seeds and pulse for about 30 seconds, until they are broken down and mixed well with the scapes.

Scrape down the sides of the food processor.

4

While running the food processor on high, drizzle in the olive oil. The slow addition will help the oil form an emulsion.

5

If your pesto will be added to something relatively cold (like pasta salad or bruschetta), you can add the cheese to the food processor and pulse until the ingredients are combined. Otherwise, grate the cheese to add it to the dish at the end so you don't end up with a melty mess.

6

If you are serving immediately, add the basil and lemon juice to the food processor and process until reaching the desired consistency. If not, add these ingredients right before serving so you don't lose the vibrant color of the basil.

7

Add salt to taste and serve over pasta (I'm obsessed with gemelli right now) or crusty bread. Alternatively use it in a marinade or mixed with breadcrumbs to make a crust for roasted chicken or fish.

Garlic Scape Pesto