Kale + Garlic Scape Pesto

The Kitchen Beet - Kale-Garlic Scape Pesto

We’ve reached that stage where summer’s beautiful abundance is almost startling. It seems one moment we’re begging for anything green to come out of the ground, and the next moment there are 50 garlic scapes sitting on the counter! I’m not complaining in the least. Having a bunch of vibrant beets, spicy greens, crisp sugar snap peas and imperfect bundles of carrots around is among my favorite problems to have. This time of year reminds me a bit of a room of children – the loudest one crying often demands attention. If a vegetable is starting to wilt, it gets my time. There will be no veggies dying on my watch! If you’re starting to get to that point where the gifts of kale and garlic scapes are approaching a volume that requires your kitchen love, read on. This delicious pesto is great now, great tomorrow and excellent in January, when you pull it from the freezer in the midst of a snowstorm.

The recipe size I’m listing below is small. So before you get all upset that I’ve barely helped you use up your kale and garlic scapes at all, keep in mind you can multiply this recipe as much as you want! I’ve only kept it this size in case you have a blender (and not a food processor) to work with. I find these amounts are about the maximum a blender can happily manage.

Kale + Garlic Scape Pesto

1  1/2 c. kale, roughly chopped
1/2 c. raw walnuts
1/3 c. chopped garlic scapes
1/3 c. freshly grated parmesan
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Make sure you snap off the woody ends of your garlic scapes, and discard the flowery looking part on the other end. Everything in between is what you’ll want to chop up! In a food processor (better) or blender, combine all ingredients except olive oil. Pulse a couple of times to start moving everything towards a chunky puree. Add about half of the olive oil. With your processor or blender running on low, add the rest of the olive oil in a stream, increasing the speed as you are able. You may have to stop several times and scrape down the sides, especially if you are using a blender. Process until just combined.

Store in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze several batches so you can enjoy this goodness year round. A few ideas for what to do with your pesto: pesto-potato salad with green beans, homemade pizza, pasta (gluten-free if you prefer) with broccoli, zucchini and other summer veggies, on wholegrain toast with sliced tomatoes and sunflower sprouts, quiche with a couple of tablespoons of pesto added instead of herbs…what’s your favorite use for pesto?

3 thoughts on “Kale + Garlic Scape Pesto

  1. My girls and I love pesto. We never ventured past basil pesto though. We have also never actually tried kale. This could be a fun thing to whip up. We love it on pasta. Its perfect for school lunch.


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