Garlic Scape and Fennel Frond Pesto

garlic scapes

It's always fun to try new things at the farmers market and this past weekend KT and I walked away from our Sunday trip with an alien-looking green - garlic scapes!  Garlic scapes are the blossoms on hardneck garlic plants, which are harvested before they bloom in order to direct the plant's nutrition into the roots. They have a short season - the end of May through June - so when you see them at the farmer's market you have to jump at the opportunity. 

garlic scape pesto

Last Sunday the Next Step Produce stand in Dupont was selling garlic scapes accompanied by a lovely sign recommending a garlic scape - fennel frond pesto. I'm one for food recommendations, especially from farmers, so I decided to test out the recipe. It was great!  My take on garlic scape  - fennel frond pesto is below. Note: this recipe is, unsurprisingly, pretty garlicky, so if you don't like garlic then stay away!

Garlic Scape and Fennel Frond Pesto

  • 6 ounces garlic scapes (about one bunch)
  • 3/4 c. walnuts
  • 3/4 c. parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 c. - 1 c. olive oil (depending on the consistency of the pesto)
  • fennel fronds from 2 fennel bulbs (the more the better, really!)
  • 1/2 tsp. - 1tsp. salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
Wash the garlic scapes and remove the bulbs. Chop the scapes into 2-3 inch pieces and place them in a food processor. Add the walnuts, parmigiano cheese, lemon juice, half of the olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt and some black pepper to the food processor and blend the ingredients together. Add more olive oil as needed to make the pesto a smooth consistency, and add salt to taste. Once the pesto starts to come together, wash the fennel fronds and add them into the processor. Blend for a few more seconds until smooth.

Serve over pasta or on toasted bread as crostini.


  1. This looks incredible! As another lady from an Italian household, I know firsthand how life-giving a well-prepared pasta dish can be ;) Look forward to following you and seeing what else you cook up!

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