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Garlic Scape Basil Pesto

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I went to the farmers market in Union Square this morning where I encountered these garlic scapes. Never seeing these before, I was told they are the shoots that grow from the bulb that eventually straighten out and bloom, and they are only available for a short time. Farmers remove these so the garlic bulb can get more energy to grow larger. These have a milder garlic flavor than garlic cloves, similar to a green onion, but with a garlic taste. The vendor at the market told me you can replace garlic in recipes or you can make a pesto which you can use on bread, in risotto, pasta, bruschetta, etc. I will now be purchasing these scapes on a regular basis if I can find them!

Garlic Scape Basil Pesto

5 from 2 votes
Cuisine: American
Yield: 7 servings
Serving Size: 1 tbsp


  • 1/2 cup about 6 garlic scapes, flowers and tough ends removed
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt, fresh pepper to taste


  • Cut the garlic scapes into small pieces.
  • In a food processor or mini blender pulse scapes, basil, parmigiano, salt and pepper until smooth.
  • Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing.
  • Store in an air-tight jar for up to two weeks.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 tbsp, Calories: 124.4 kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.5 g, Protein: 3.2 g, Fat: 12.4 g, Sodium: 133.2 mg, Fiber: 0.2 g, Sugar: 0.1 g


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15 comments on “Garlic Scape Basil Pesto”

  1. Fantastic! Love this recipe—just picked the garlic scapes and basil in the garden, it makes up so quickly—tonight we spread it on salmon that is being grilled, and tomorrow it will be the base for a pizza. So many uses! I doubled it and put some in the freezer. Thank you Gina!

  2. Made this recipe with my last 6 garlic scapes (they last a very long tim) and it is the BOMB!!!!  Gina, you did it again, Girl!!!  Hubby loved it too!!!!

  3. I LOVE this recipe and come back to it every year when I get scapes from my farm share. Thank you for always helping me to find a way to use those veggies that I’m unfamiliar with. We’ve had some delicious results and found new favorites.

  4. I made this tonight with green garlic instead of garic scapes. I got the green garlic in my CSA box and had no idea what to do with it. This turned out great!

  5. Sure, it will just be a bit more pungent. Maybe use 2 cloves garlic, 1 cup basil instead which is more like a basil pesto.

  6. Avatar photo
    Curry & Gutierrez Family

    I have the same question as Jana. Can we just substitute regular garlic cloves for the garlic scapes if we can find them? Please advise because I am dieing to try this recipe.

  7. WOW Gina your site is just better and better LOVE the pictures they make my mouth water!!!!!!!

    Can't wait to try more of your great idea's!!!!!

  8. Avatar photo
    Southern Gal

    Any chance you'll post your favorite 4th of July recipes in one post with links so I can pick your brain for a good WW menu????

    I'm making the blueberry pie you recently posted. I picked fresh blueberries yesterday and can't wait to try it.

    Love your recipes, by the way.