Garlic Scapes Pesto

Source: Modified from a recipe found at ""

Serving size: 3 Tablespoons

Servings per recipe: 5

Try this delicious recipe using garlic scapes available at your local farmers market!

View Nutrition Facts


  • 1 cup garlic scapes, cut into 1/2 inch slices (about 10 to 12 scapes)
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper


Cutting board and sharp knife, measuring cups and spoons, blender or food processor


1) Place the chopped garlic scapes, basil, sunflower seeds and oil in a blender and blend about 1 minute.

2) Add the Parmesan cheese and blend until combined.

3) Add lemon juice and salt to taste, and blend again.

4) Serve immediately. Recipe makes 1 cup.


Serving suggestions:

Serve pesto over whole grain pasta (1 pound for this recipe); use on a sandwich instead of mayonnaise; add to cooked greens, soups and stews for extra flavor.

Use fresh garlic scapes as you would scallions in salads, cooked greens, soups and stews.

Freeze pesto in ice cube trays, and store cubes in a freezer baggie for later use.

NOTE: Nutrient analysis assumes that garlic scapes have the same nutrient content as garlic bulbs. Garlic scapes are not in USDA's Food Composition Databases.

More About Garlic Scapes

How to Select

Look for long, curved, or curly stalks that are firm, smooth, and a vibrant green. Scapes should be green, curly, and free of discoloration. Older scapes will straighten out as time passes and create a harder texture as well as a spicier flavor.

How to Store

Garlic scapes keep well in cold storage, though freshly cut scapes taste the best. Keep scapes in the refrigerator in a paper bag to avoid sliminess. They should keep for a month or more. Scapes freeze well--blanched or not--however they tend to lose some of their garlicky heat during long periods of storage, so get them while they are fresh at the market! Even if they lose some flavor, scapes from the freezer add great texture and color to dishes long after scape season has passed!

How to Prepare

Scapes can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. Sliced or chopped into a salad, their flavor is subtle and their crunchy texture holds up well with dressings. Added to sliced sweet peppers and mushrooms for a quick stir-fry, they can top any cooked whole grain for a satisfying meal. With the scapes trimmed and ready to go, just pull out your favorite recipes and treat them like garlic. Grind them into guacamole, stir them into soup or pound them into a pesto!