Sue’s Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto

Garlic Scapes

This is a story about how having a CSA can change your life.  It wasn’t so long ago that our long-time friends, let’s call them Dan and Sue, didn’t eat very diversely from the plant kingdom.  They will have to forgive me for sharing this awkward memory from our shared histories, but I recall going to a bakery/cafe together when our children were in the 8 and under age group.  This place served sandwiches made with their in-house whole wheat bread, baked daily, and we popped for the $5.00 PBJs for the 5 kids.  When the sandwiches arrived, faces fell and the parents went into “making the best of things” mode.  The problem was that these sandwiches had come with raspberry jam and in their fruit lexicon, jam was a grape product and nothing else.  The kids picked and nibbled, but sadly, they left the restaurant with less than full bellies.

Fast forward, now,  to about 4 years ago when Dan and Sue started frequenting the local farmer’s market and eventually signed up for a seasonal CSA.  One of their sons, at that time, also became a vegetarian and they all started looking for methods to a) feed their son and b) prepare the strange, new produce that was arriving on their doorstep every week.  Their son was the first to come upon using these garlic scapes in a pesto.  Now, pesto is pesto, but this one is somehow different; it is buttery and nutty and tastes so good as a spread.  We howl about it every time it is brought to share and though the son has (mostly) moved out on his own, Sue has taken ownership of this pesto and so it shall be named after her.

Now, good luck finding garlic scapes in August.  They are a spring treat, but Sue told me this week that she had a small cache she was keeping in her refrigerator, and I just outright asked her to give me some.  She gave me not one, but two bundles.  Isn’t that generous?  I think you could try this, though, with a combination of some thin scallions and some garlic cloves and you would have a pretty close outcome.  I don’t have to, however, because I have TWO bundles of scapes.


Sue’s Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto

Makes about 1 cup


  • 10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (to taste and texture)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Sea salt


Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds, and 1/4 cup of olive oil in the bowl of a food processor.  Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and, if you want, more cheese.  If you like the texture, stop;  if you would like it a little thinner, add some more oil.  Season with salt.

If you are going to use the pesto immediately, pres a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing.  The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed, airtight and frozen, for a couple of months.



One thought on “Sue’s Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto

  1. My dad just introduced me to garlic scapes this summer in Saskatchewan. He grows them in “his part” of the garden (mostly oniony things and asparagus, I think) and has been quite excited about them. I think he mostly just eats them with steak or salads or anything else, but I think he will be pleased to have another, “fancier” way to use them!

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