"" What's She Eating Now?: The Great E-Scape

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Great E-Scape

Once a year Dan and I make pasta with garlic scape pesto. You may be thinking only once a year because garlic scapes are in season for such a short time. That fact is true, but even if they sold garlic scapes in my lobby year round I would still probably only have it once per year.

Garlic scapes are the part of the garlic plant that sprouts up from the bulb at the beginning of the season. Its flavor is great but extremely intense and good luck getting the smell out of your pores in under 4 showers or 48 hours, whichever comes first.

Don’t let me scare you off though. Garlic scape pesto is delicious and well worth the side effects (on an annual basis anyway), and this is coming from someone who can only take garlic in small doses and does not like pesto (pesto is actually a bit of a misnomer in the recipe I recommend as it has neither pine nuts nor basil).

So head out to the green market in the next two weeks before they are all gone and make some pesto. Besides having an easy-to-make delicious treat you’ll probably find yourself having more room on the subway and in other crowded places the next day. Bon Appetit!


Serves 2 for pasta entrée or 4 for pasta starter

  • ¼ pound of garlic scapes
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (depending on the juiciness of the lemon may need more, I actually don’t measure this)
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste (it will need salt more than it needs pepper)
  • ¾ pound of pasta cooked al dente (I have used orecchiette, penne and fusilli and think my favorite was fusilli but they all worked well)


  • Go to the green market and buy scapes (if you go to the Union Sq market Keith’s Farm which is usually on the north side Wed and Sat has the best ones but other vendors carry them as well)
  • Put up salted water to boil
  • Wash scapes, cut off the bulb and a bit off the end of the tail, then make ½ inch pieces (this does not need to be uniform, its going in the processor)
  • Cook the pasta until al dente and drain
  • Add together all pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend together until the scapes are broken down but the sauce still had texture, do not fully puree
  • Toss pesto with pasta until all pasta is coated

Other delicious looking things you can do with scapes:


  1. This dish is delicious, but intense. I had to take 2 showers, have a glass of scotch and brush my teeth twice just to flush my system and head off comments from coworkers, but it's worth it. Not for the faint of heart. And don't leave your bedroom door open while you're cooking this.

  2. I like the idea that perhaps Dan drank the glass of scotch before seeing his co-workers: "Guys, has anyone noticed that Dan smells like scotch during the day? Maybe we should have an intervention...."
    Should've stuck w/ the garlic, Dan.