Garlic scapes – I didn’t even know what these were till a few weeks ago, when our farmers market manager suggested I use them to make a pesto sauce. Still flush with success over my delicious roasted beet salad I agreed to give them a try………

garlic scapes

So what ARE garlic scapes? They are the green “shoots” that poke through the top of the bulb as the garlic develops.  They need to be removed for the garlic to properly mature, and are often thrown away. This is a shame because they have a lighter, more delicate garlic flavor than the cloves. They are best used raw, and need no additional prep beyond just chopping them up. They can be folded into scrambled eggs, stirred into rice, or sprinkled over chicken salad as a garnish. Or, you can make a colorful and tasty pesto to stir into pasta, spread on a slice of crusty bread to serve with wine, or spoon over some fresh fish.

garlic scape pesto

This pesto recipe is easy and delicious and freezes well – as scapes have a very short window of availability, try to find some at your local farmers market soon!

Garlic Scape Pesto
adapted from In the Kitchen and On the Road with Dorie

10-12 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/3 c. finely grated Parmesan
1/3 c. slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1/2 c. olive oil
sea salt
fluke fillets (about 6-8 oz. per person), or any other mild fish – scallops would be great here too

Pre-heat oven to 450°F.

Blend the scapes, cheese and half the olive oil in a food processor. Add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese. Check the texture and add a little more oil if you want a thinner consistency.  Season with salt.

Arrange fillets in a  glass baking dish in a single layer. Drizzle with a  little oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake till cooked through and no longer translucent, about 6-8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).

Spoon a little of the pesto over the fish and serve with a slice of focaccia and a side salad of sliced tomatoes scattered with some sea salt, chopped basil and a drizzle of best quality extra virgin olive oil.

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver


  1. Ellen K. on June 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Garlic scapes are, indeed, a miracle of nature! I LOVE them and am always sad when they disappear after their short season.

    • sheri silver on June 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      Yes – I am officially a fan!

  2. Kirsten on May 12, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe with me for my Garlic Scape Recipe Round Up! It’s now live, and I’m so inspired I cannot wait for my scapes to appear.
    You can see the round up here: or Pin it for later:

    • sherisilver on May 12, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Wow Kirsten – what a great round up! Thanks so much for including me; I can’t wait to try these! 🙂

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