Garlic Scape Pesto

June 12, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Pesto is beginning to make a regular appearance at dinner at my house. Toss it with pasta, spread it on toast; thin it with more olive oil and it'll become a happy alternative to whatever you've been dressing your salads with. Kenzi Wilbur

Makes: about 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 cup garlic scapes, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Add the scapes and pine nuts to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until everything is broken up a bit. Then turn the processor back on, and with it running, add the oil a little at a time until it's fully incorporated.
  2. Add cheese, pulse, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. This won't brown like basil pesto will, so if you're not using immediately, just store in a container in the fridge. It will last a week.

More Great Recipes:
Condiment/Spread|Italian|Pine Nut|Vegetable|Pesto|Garlic|Make Ahead|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Spring|Vegetarian|Appetizer

Reviews (23) Questions (0)

23 Reviews

Mary C. June 6, 2016
I made this last year, and found it quite garlicky. So this year I blanched the scapes first, and it was mellow and lovely.
MarieH June 5, 2016
Excellent as is! May not make it into the freezer. I am eating it on bread :-)
Sami H. June 26, 2015
I made this but used raw pistachios and added lemon and basil. It is delicious!
Lisa B. June 17, 2015
This was absolutely delicious!! I added a few kale leaves and some basil from the garden. It was pretty garlicky but not overpowering. Put it on a pizza with fresh tomatoes and oregano - wonderful!
Barb July 27, 2014
I love Food 52 and am a fairly adventurous cook. I recently made this pesto as described for pasta. Unfortunately, it was so overpowering that it was inedible.
essbee July 20, 2014
Public Service Announcement
If you find yourself saying "Surely my food processor will be able to break down these woody bits of scape that I've carelessly included", I strongly suggest starting again. I have made myself something with a marvellous flavour and an startlingly unpleasant texture.
Sarahjane R. June 26, 2014
can you freeze it? I have a whole lotta scrapes and would love to put some pesto in the freezer for a treat mid-winter.
Author Comment
Kenzi W. June 26, 2014
Of course!
Lauren R. June 24, 2014
I just made this although I substituted walnuts for pine nuts, and added a few basil leaves and some lemon juice to cut the sharpness of the scapes and its so good. I ate it on zucchini noodles with extra parmesan for a meal that really makes summer's ingredients sing!
KirstenS June 18, 2014
So I have made this before, and as much as I LOVE garlic, this was WAY garlicky. I smelled garlic coming out my pores the next day. Has anyone else found this? Did I just get a particularly pungent bunch?
NatWhit June 24, 2014
Mine was also much more garlicky than I expected. I'm thinking of trying to mellow it out with the addition of some herbs.
maeveoh July 15, 2013
Oh, this has been so wonderful. It was eaten with raw zucchini and tomatoes, baguette pieces, pasta last night, and topping my kale / poached egg breakfast this morning. Delicious!
Author Comment
Kenzi W. July 15, 2013
So glad you like it!
Better T. July 1, 2013
Thank you giving me something else to do my all my scapes ( besides grilling them)! I essentially tripled the recipe (soo many scapes), added a handful of flat leaf parsley, a couple squeezes of lemon juice and toasted the pine nuts. Topped some cedar-planked salmon with it. Delicious!! Now, what else can I put it on....hmmm
Inge C. June 18, 2013
wwhat is scape and ramp??????
pearl_diver June 24, 2013
The garlic scape is a delicate sprout which comes out of the plant early on. A ramp is a wild onion found in southern appalachia.
Tucker &. June 17, 2013
This is perfect. The scapes are just now appearing in my garden. They won't be around for long!
Laurelb June 12, 2013
Can you freeze it?
Author Comment
Kenzi W. June 12, 2013
I haven't before (we always use it up so quickly!), but I imagine it would be perfectly fine.
calendargirl June 12, 2013
I have frozen garlic scape pesto with success, same for ramp pesto. The color darkens a bit, and the flavor sharpens. But it is a most welcome treat to discover it in the freezer on a chilly fall or winter night.
SarahBee June 28, 2013
We freeze our scape pesto. Stays bright and green!
hardlikearmour June 12, 2013
I just bought a bunch yesterday! Mine are destined for a frittata with some fresh asparagus and fromage blanc for supper tonight.
Author Comment
Kenzi W. June 12, 2013
Oh that sounds so good. I've used this pesto in eggs before, too -- it'd probably be lovely in a frittata.