It’s been a busy couple of months, but now that summer is really and truly here, weekends are more laid back, and almost always include a visit to our local farmers market, right down in Union Square.
The market seems to get bigger every year, with farmers selling a bounty of vegetables, fruits and herbs, free range meats, local seafood, freshly baked breads, homemade ice cream, hard sparkling cider. You really can get inspired by just a walk through, and I often find myself struggling to get everything I end up buying in the bags I’ve brought.
One item I tried for the first time this year are garlic scapes–those long, prettily curled green shoots that sort of look like scallions gone wild, and seem to be everywhere right now.
I bought them on a whim, and then, after a bit of research, decided to make a pesto using the scapes and cilantro.
Very similar to a traditional basil pesto, but I used walnuts instead of pine nuts.
This makes a good amount, enough for several meals/uses. Just like a regular pesto, it goes great on pasta. I also made a cold pasta salad with it, and used it in a marinade, with chipotles, for steak. (Those recipes coming soon).
I hope this inspires you to try those crazy looking scapes the next time you see them at your local farmers’ market!
Garlic scape-cilantro pesto
– about 20 garlic scapes (couple big handfuls)
– 1 bunch cilantro (large stems/roots removed)
– about 1/4 c walnuts, toasted
– about 1/4 c olive oil
– about 1 c Parmesan cheese
– juice of 1 lime
– salt, if needed
Roughly chop the garlic scapes and add them to a food processor. Add the cilantro and half the lime juice, and process just until the herbs are all chopped and combined. Add in the walnuts, cheese and oil, and pulse a few more times until the walnuts are chopped and everything is well combined. Taste for seasoning, and add more lime juice and salt if needed.
At this point, you can use it or store it for later. To use within a few days, place in a bowl and press plastic wrap right down on top of the pesto so no air gets in. Store in the refrigerator. Or, freeze portions in small zipper bags, pressing out as much air as possible before zipping bag.