Saturday, July 3, 2010

Recipe: Garlic Scape - Kale Pesto

Here is it - finally - the recipe and photos for my Garlic Scape-Kale Pesto recipe. We are still using what this recipe made earlier in the week; tonight I added a teaspoon to each serving of my stand-by red lentil soup along with serving more pasta tossed with the garlic scape-kale pesto (hard to get enough of that!) and some chopped red peppers from the freezer.
Garlic Scape - Kale Pesto


1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes) cut into ¼-inch slices

3-5 leaves lacinato (dinosaur) kale, tough stems removed and then slice into sideways strips
1/3 cup walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts (toasting these adds a nice twist)
3/4 cup olive oil

approx. 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 

1/2 teaspoon salt
 (I omitted since there is enough salt from the cheese for me)
black pepper to taste (I did not add any)


Place scapes, kale, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor and grind until well combined and somewhat smooth but not purely pureed. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated but there is still some "chunkiness". Transfer mix to a mixing bowl.  Add parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 1-1/2 cups of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Or transfer to an ice-cube tray and freeze to be defrosted and used one cube at a time at your leisure.  The latter approach makes scape pesto available even in mid-winter, when it’s use can make a scrumptious dish.

This pesto is bright green in contrast to the beautiful light green pesto made just from the garlic scapes.

 (Photo: Variety of garlic scapes and lacinato kale leaves, with stems removed)

(Photo: Garlic Scape - Kale Pesto on a toasted bagel, showing it is still a bit "chunky" rather than blended smooth)

Enjoy, enjoy - there is no shortage of ways to use any pesto, let alone a pesto made with kale and garlic scapes, two of my favorite vegetables.
Where kale continues to be more than decoration on my plate! 

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Anonymous said...

Looks amazing. Would suggest subbing nutritional yeast for the parm if there is concern or issues with cheese. Thanks!

Diana Dyer said...

And I have a friend who simply leaves out cheese altogether with no substitutes! Enjoy either way. :-)

Robin Mallery said...

Oh my, what a fabulous sounding recipe and the photos are gorgeous. I can't wait to try this out. BUT, what are garlic scapes?

Thank you!

Diana Dyer said...

HI Robin
Thanks for stopping by my kale blog. Garlic scapes are the edible "stem" that shoots up from the hard-neck variety of garlic bulbs usually in June. They are cut off so the plant's energy goes into the growing bulbs instead of the stem and the flower that never really forms. There are other garlic scape recipes on my blog. Please stop by again!

selene @veganlicious said...

what a great idea! I have never even thought of the possibility of kale pesto!

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

This was my first visit to your site :o), I think I detect a liking for kale here :o)...Lots of interesting recipes, I'll be back again :o)..

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe! Our school cafeteria served kale pesto with whole grain pasta and it was so fabulous...I was glad to find your recipe online so I can try to make it at home.

Kasey Doshier said...

I'm very thankful I just came across this recipe! I am allergic to basil so it's nice to see such a great alternative!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try this!

Diana Dyer said...

Hurry, hurry, hurry to get your garlic scapes this year. We completely sold out our 2011 crop yesterday, and we had doubled what we planted in 2010. I think garlic scapes have finally come into the spotlight for their deliciousness, versatility, and fun!

Carla said...

This recipe is perfect for using up items from the community garden I am involved in. Perfect! Can't wait to eat it for supper on pasta.

Diana Dyer said...

True, true, throw in some peas, or a bit of arugula or sunflower sprouts, or you name it........fill in the blank. If you have scapes, I guarantee this pesto will knock your socks off. No need to wait to make pesto until basil is flooding the markets. Of course, if you have a teeny bit of early basil, throw that in too. :-) I added a teaspoon of this pesto to each bowl of our broccoli soup at lunch today. So many ways to use this pesto that will perk up your usual recipes!

Meaghan said...

This recipe looks fantastic! I am actually hosting a garlic scapes linky party at as part of our Fresh Produce Tuesday series. I would love if you submitted this recipe!


My Beth Lecroy said...

I used garlic chives and Chinese cabbage I grew! Just delicious.

jovaliquilts said...

There were garlic scapes at the farmer's market this weekend. I'd never had them before, so I bought them and made this recipe. Wow, VERY pungent, but also delicious. We found it too strong to use alone on bread, so we mixed some into hummus and some into a white bean spread. Great! Today I stirred a spoonful into my bowl of carrot soup -- awesome. I've frozen the leftovers in ice cube trays.

Diana Dyer said...

The pungency will depend on the variety of garlic scape. Some like Russian Red or Killarney Red which are the last to emerge are VERY strongly flavored. Others like China Stripe are mild and yet some like Blossom have a sweetness as their final taste. About 25 of our 40+ varieties of garlic send up scapes. We do 'tastings' of the scapes at our market table by variety and so we sell them by variety, too. The flavors of the scapes are a less-intense preview of the cured garlic heads that will be ready for market sometime in August. We have a "table of discovery" at the markets. :)

jovaliquilts said...

Ah, I would love to do your tasting! Thanks for the info. :)