One of life’s great pleasures is cooking with fruits and vegetables in season, straight from the farmer’s fields. Right now in Quebec, that vegetable is garlic scapes.
Garlic scapes (fleur de l’ail in French) are the long, curly stalk that grows out of a garlic plant. The scapes get snapped off in late June so that the plant’s energy goes into producing a blub of garlic, rather than flowers.
Garlic scapes are a rare delicacy, sought after by chefs and passionate foodies. They are only available for a few weeks a year, around Saint Jean Baptiste Day.
Scapes can be grilled, steamed or pickled, and added to everything from salads to soups, but one of the simplest things to make is Garlic Scape Pesto.
Garlic Scape Pesto
- 2 cups garlic scapes (10-12 scapes), roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- Juice of one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Add garlic scapes and oil the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the cheese, nuts, lemon, salt and pepper and continue blending until smooth and silky. This takes quite a while (3-5 min), as the garlic scapes can be quite hard.
Serve over hot pasta, on fish, or in sandwiches instead of mayonnaise.