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.
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!
- 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.