August 01, 2011

Garlic Scape Pesto

OK, I’ve wanted to start this blog for a long, long time and have found every excuse in the book to talk myself out of it. But it seems that didn’t work, so here we are, day 1, post 1, of what I hope will be a fun-filled adventure. In this blog, I will be sharing some of my favorite recipes & some short videos to accompany them. I’m thinking of these videos as tiny inspirational vignettes. You may not get A to Z instructions out of them, but my hope is that they will put a smile on your face and make you want to eat / cook / plant something…

I made this pesto while on vacation in Nova Scotia, when the garlic in my parents’ garden is at that magical state where it shoots out those elegant, curly scapes. The ballerinas of the garden. So pretty (and also kind of wild & wacky!) They have so much personality and flavour oozing out of them it’s like they’re speaking to you.

My mom was a little bit famous for her garlic. She skillfully grew many different varieties that kept all year round. Now that she is no longer with us, my stepdad plants it every year and takes great pride in his crop. Where I’m from in Nova Scotia, folks are pretty keen on steamed garlic scapes, in my mind one of summertime's great delights, similar to green beans but more tender and flavorful. But if you're up to your ears in scapes, pesto is just the thing! 
Garlic Scape Pesto
A large bunch of scapes (around 3 lbs-ish)
1 to 2 cups of olive oil
¾ cup parmesan
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (or pine nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds…)
salt to taste

I recommend blanching the scapes first – put them in boiling water for 30 seconds (my sister suggested that and it really does improves the color and texture of the pesto). Chop them in the food processor with the olive oil until you’re happy with the consistency. Add more olive oil and salt to taste, as needed. You’ll see in the video, I didn’t put walnuts & parmesan in mine since I like to have the option to put them in later, especially if I'm going to be freezing the batch. And to tell you the truth, the scapes have such a delicious and delicate flavor that they don’t even need the nuts and cheese at all. You can also experiment with throwing some basil, lemon, or actual garlic bulbs in there. The pesto freezes well, my mom used to put hers in icecube trays in the freezer and pop them out whenever she needed them. It's also very versatile! My neighbour Sophie spooned it on some pork chops before throwing them in the oven and it was absolutely delicious. I dumped a large jar on a whole chicken and scattered some vegetables in the pan and it made a tasty (and easy) roast. It’s also a great soup starter, yummy on pasta (of course!) and in sandwiches. The possibilities are endless. And if this is giving you the pesto bug and you’re cursing me because the scapes are gone, just substitute them for: cilantro or arugula or parsley or (of course!) basil... or whatever herbs & greens are in your garden or at your market these days. Try other nuts too…  Mmm, tarragon-hazelnut pesto anyone?!


16 comments:

  1. AUBE!!! I LOVE food blogs! And, I love pesto, especially with arugula. I've yet to try garlic scape pesto, but if I could ever get my hands on some, I would make this in a flash :) Looking forward to more posts!

    Beautiful video, by the way!

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  2. Wonderful - the video rocks!!!

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  3. Oh Aube, your video is so whimsical and wonderful, I just love it! Thanks for sharing your talent in this forum!

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  4. This is great! Best recipe video I've seen.

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  5. Salut Aube, J'aime tout fait avec de l'ail. donc j'espere en gouter...

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  6. so sad that this pesto is still in nova scotia....

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  7. C'est incroyable! Je ne comprends pas très bien l'anglais alors, je n'ai pas bien compris qui a fait cette vidéo mais en tout cas, je vous dit un très très grand Bravo - c'est tellement créatif!
    Encore une fois, bravo!

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  8. Oooo! J'aime l'animation :)

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  9. Bravo, a tour de force, a new way of doing food videos, a smashing achievement and work of uncompromising brilliance. Hee hee, I'm working on a second career providing quotes for movie reviews and book jackets.

    Seriously this is so great. The music and sound effects on the video were the clincher for me. Also a very good idea to label the garlic scape pesto - something i failed to do last year - not a good idea as it's not a perfect replacement for regular pesto, which was also in freezer.

    J'en veux encore des videos s'il te plait!!!

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  10. What a fantastic video Aube!!! Yay!!!!!!!!

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  11. garlic! garlic! quelle belle vidéo ,du charme de l'élégance, de l'esprit,du talent
    JE SUIS DEJA UNE FAN:
    A bientôt.
    nai-nai

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  12. Oh my gosh, how talented are you in making that stop motion video? I now want to know what you do for a living! That garlic scape pesto recipe looks wonderfully easy and when placed in jars and labelled like that, they look so darn quaint! Great first post (and thanks for landing on my site, as it fortuitously brought me here).

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  13. Aube - the video is brilliant! Patrick and I both just watched it - wonderful! Can't wait to see what's up next! Bravo! The editing is wonderful, the music perfect, and the pesto of course looks delicious.....looking forward to more of the best new thing on the internet
    xox
    Pam

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  14. Aghhh! This is just the most stunningly beautiful beginning to anything, ever. Bravo, I am looking forward to being with you a long time:)

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  15. Salut Aube,

    C'est Sarah qui me l'a montré ton blog, puis je viens de le montrer à mon ami Mathieu. Tous les trois, nous sommes d'accord que c'est vraiment spécial ce que tu fais, qu'il n'y a rien qui peut toucher à ça.

    Bravo et bonne continuation,

    Stephen

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