We recently took a trip back to my hometown in upstate New York to visit family. I love being in the Northeast this time of year because everything is lush and green and the air is heavy with sweet summertime moisture! June is also a great time to be home since Dad’s garden is in full swing and most of our meals come straight from the backyard. Dad has a creative cooking style- he loves using fresh ingredients and isn’t afraid to try new things. One of his favorite dishes to create is Pesto.
Traditionally it is made with fresh basil but you can create a pesto out of many things. This time, we used Garlic Scapes and fresh cilantro. If you aren’t familiar with garlic scapes, they are the curly stem of the garlic plant and according to NYTimes, “the plants underappreciated second offering”. Scapes have a milder garlic flavor and offer a subtle alternative to the full-fledged version. Typical time to harvest a scape is early summer when you notice the stem starting to curl. Harvesting the scape allows the plant to send more energy to the garlic bulb containing the super flavored clove.
Making the pesto is an easy, no-bake, quick way to use scapes.
Directions: Get out your food processor and blend scapes, olive oil, half a lemon and cilantro. Add walnuts at the end so they stay in chunks instead of mush. Add salt and pepper to taste.