Nancy's Health Talk Blog

Creative Ways to Use Garlic Scapes + Garlic Scapes and Basil Pesto Recipe

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Here's the latest on my adventures with garlic! The garlic I planted last fall will be ready for harvest in just a couple of weeks. If you can imagine, I planted over 400 bulbs of garlic, so this will be a very big harvest.

I don’t think I’ll ever have to buy garlic again! My plan is to use half of the garlic for cooking this year and to save the other half for planting next fall—if we can refrain from eating it all!

As you know, garlic is extremely healthy for the body, particularly the immune system. Plus, it's very easy to grow, so if you’d like instructions on how to plant it, just follow Dan’s instructions @

I buy some of his seeds, as well.This is my first crop this season for garlic scapes. If you've never heard of garlic scapes, they're the green, stem-like shoots that are usually removed from the head of the garlic so the garlic bulb can grow larger.




You might not be aware that garlic scapes are just as edible as the garlic bulb and have a variety of uses in cooking. Among other things, you can add them to your favorite soup, toss them raw on salads, or sprinkle them on grilled foods or in your favorite stir fry dish!

Because garlic scapes have a mild garlic flavor, they make a wonderful addition to a variety of foods like hummus, scrambled eggs, mashed sweet potatoes, pasta dishes, and, one of my favorites, garlic scape pesto.

(With or without other herbs, it's habit forming!)

So, here's my favorite Garlic Scapes and Basil Pesto recipe. Ever since I discovered garlic scape pesto, I've been hooked on it. I freeze a ton of it and like storing it in small glass canning jars.

Garlic Scapes and Basil Pesto


  • 10 to 12 large garlic scapes, with bulb removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup (lightly packed) clean, dry basil leaves
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. sea salt/Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup (or more depending on how thick you want your pesto) good quality olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or hemp seeds (I use hemp seeds)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup grated organic parmesan cheese (This is optional. I personally don’t add the cheese.)


Add garlic scapes, basil, and salt to the large bowl of a food processor. Start processing, adding oil slowly. Stop processing and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Once a smooth paste has been achieved, add parmesan (optional) and process until completely mixed in.

Top processing and add the nuts or seeds. Pulse processor until nuts/seeds are roughly chopped and fully mixed in. This gives the pesto a great texture.


Storage Suggestions:

  • Here are some tips on how to store your garlic scape pesto:
  • Use an airtight container and cover the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil. It will keep in the refrigerator for a week or two.
  • Store the pesto in small glass canning jars.
  • Spoon the pesto into ice cube trays. When the cubes are frozen, remove and transfer to a plastic freezer bag. The pesto freezes well!


I’ve modified the recipe, but credit must be given to two people, in particular: Carolyn Herriot is the author of The Zero-Mile Diet Cookbook: Seasonal Recipes for Delicious Homegrown Food. She’s been a great inspiration for my love of gardening.

Natasha Kyssa is the author of the Canadian bestseller The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual. Her recipe book has wonderful and easy-to-digest recipes.

If you have questions or comments, please share them below!

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