With so many seasonal ingredients to choose from it’s hard to decide what to buy and, in some cases, what to prepare once you bring a new ingredient home.  I recently visited the weekly farmer’s market and came across a big basket of beautiful, squiggly garlic scapes.  I wasn’t sure what to do with them, but I had a conversation with a co-worker who inspired me to just go home and experiment. 

Not knowing much about scapes I did a bit of ‘digging’ so I would better understand them. Interestingly enough, all garlic creates stems but only one variety, called ‘Rocambole’ garlic, offers us these lovely, curly scapes.

Lately there have been various versions of pesto-like sauces swirling around the office so I figured I would try my hand at a new one to continue on this trend and make use of my newfound ingredient! Having made pesto and other similar sauces in the past I followed the same path in my preparation. But there was a game-time decision that took this pesto to another place….are you ready?

I threw in grape tomatoes and a half of an avocado

This surprising new pesto was tangy, creamy, and the perfect topper for our evening salad. The pesto could also be great on some whole-wheat pasta or spread on a lunchtime sandwich or wrap.

Garlic Scape Pesto
Makes about 1 ½ cups

¼ cup cashews or other nuts
½ pound garlic scapes, washed and roughly chopped
½ bunch cilantro, thoroughly washed and roughly chopped
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 small tomato or 6 grape or cherry tomatoes
½ ripe avocado

Put the raw cashews in a blender and pulverize them. Add the garlic scapes and cilantro, along with the olive oil, lemon juice, and a bit of water to thin it out. 

Once pureed, add the grape tomatoes and the avocado half, blend for another minute, and season with salt to taste.


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