green garlic scape pesto in a bowl with crackers nearby

Garlic Scape Pesto

You may already know that garlic scapes are the long stalks and flower bud of the hardneck garlic plant. These are removed in spring, which encourages the plant to make bigger and plumper garlic bulbs underground. I promised to make a post about using garlic scapes. To me, they’re one of spring’s best treats! They’re mild and almost sweet. Raw, they’re as crunchy as green beans; cooked, they become tender. Make garlic scape pesto: spicy, creamy, excellent on raw vegetables, crackers, or your fingers.

My CSA box holds garlic scapes in spring during their very short season, but you might also find them piled in a tangle at your local farmers market. If you’re very lucky, your grocery store might carry some. Do pick up a bunch – they’ll last for weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Garlic scapes last a long time, but garlic scape pesto is a bit more fragile. Make sure to press waxed paper or plastic wrap onto the surface of the paste when you keep it in the refrigerator. Freeze whatever you won’t eat within a week – you might like to put some in an ice cube tray, then once they’re frozen, turn them out into a bag, so you can defrost a bit at a time later on.

green garlic scape pesto in a bowl with crackers nearby

Garlic Scape Pesto

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: garlic scapes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Garlicky, creamy, goodness: and very very green.
Print Recipe


  • 1 cup finely chopped garlic scapes (8-10 scapes depending on their size)
  • cup slivered or chopped nuts toasted, if you like
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓–½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese adjust amount to your own taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Put the scapes and nuts in the bowl of a food processor, and whiz until well combined. Add some of your cheese, whiz it again. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until it’s well mixed in. Transfer to a bowl, add more Parmesan cheese as desired, and then add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Keeps for up to a week, covered air-tight, in the refrigerator (press some waxed paper to the surface to keep it from turning brown). Or you may plop splats onto waxed paper, freeze them solid, and then bag the frozen splats, to have smaller portions later on.


adapted from Dorie Greenspan