Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Pasta with Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Around for just a short season, garlic scapes are one of those ingredients that you'll probably only find from a local farmer. Curly and funny-looking, the sprouts are harvested when tender and young and have become a rather popular ingredient in stir-fries and, in this case, as the base for a unique kind of pesto. The flavor of the scape is garlicky but not nearly as pungent as the bulb growing beneath.

A bag full of them arrived last week in my CSA box, so I blended some of them with almonds, olive oil, Parmesan, and a handful of basil leaves. While a pesto made entirely from garlic scapes is delicious, I found that the sweet basil tempered the garlicky bite just enough to round out the flavors. I took a cue from Dorie Greenspan to use almonds instead of pesto's traditional pine nuts and the result was light yet flavorful, a perfect simple dinner.

Pasta with Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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