Garlic Scapes are the wild and curly shoots that spring from the tops of garlic plants. They're brilliantly green and grow corkscrewed.
They've got a mild garlic fragrance and a mellow garlic flavor. It's got a freshness that garlic loses as it develops. The scapes, which look as beautiful in the garden as they do at the market, are meant to be cut - cutting them strengthens the garlic bulbs that are growing underground - so it's a win-win for the garlic and us. We use the scapes as a garnish – just pour some olive oil on them, grill them until their crisp/limp and then lightly salt them. Saturday night we made scape pesto which we served on pan seared crab cakes. Last night Gayle and I used the rest of the scape pesto on pasta.
Scapes are fleeting, their only available about 10 days each year.
Put the scapes, cheese, pine nuts, Basil and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle). Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil. If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil. Season with salt.
If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months.