Garlic scape & radish greens pesto

IF ever there was a time to eat more garlic and not worry about it… it’ s now during Covid.  For those people who just won’t stay 6′ or 2 meters away… they certainly will if you’re eating raw scapes! 🙂


I’ve just started harvesting my scapes.  I like to wait til they’re curly.  My favourite way to eat them is with a bit of rubbed olive or grapeseed oil with some S&P and maybe a bit of lemon juice or lemon oil, then grilled.  We’ll be doing that likely in the coming week.

I found THIS recipe as noted in my last post for radish green pesto.. and thought instead of using garlic, I would use the fresh scapes out of my garden.


Scapes are the “flower head” centre stalk of hard neck garlic.  the stem at the bottom can be woody like asparagus, you want to snap them off.  but the whole head and stem can be eaten – I typically cut off the top flat green piece above the white head if using raw, but leave it on when grilling.   You do want to pull/cut these because they will rob your garlic bulb in the ground if you let them “bloom”.   Use them any way you would garlic.. and more.   They are much milder and sweeter than the garlic bulb that is growing in the ground below, and I find a lot more versatile.  The great thing is, your garlic plant is giving to you twice!   My cousin dries them, and also ferments them.. they really are fabulous fermented.  I’m hoping to get a jar (or two!) from her this summer.  We tend to share a bit from our gardens, and she ferments EVERYTHING… but the scapes are my favourite.

I pulled out my trusty mini food processer, and before I got going on the pesto, I decided to pulverize all the egg shells we’ve been collecting to feed our garden.  We’re discovering that our green bin sometimes gets thrown right in the same  bin as the regular garbage on the weekly waste trucks, (so very disappointing!!)   so I’m hoping to do more composting, and using everything I can of my food.  Like the radish greens.  And all our egg shells, and coffee grounds to feed the garden.  These are going in the garden, because apparently in our area we are already very nitrogen rich, but our soil needs more calcium.  I baked the shells first in the oven, then cooled.  I’m guessing I could have processed them further into a powder, and may next time, but we’ll start with these.

Then a good clean out of the processor, and in went the radish greens, (prewashed several times and spun dry in my salad spinner) local cold-pressed grape seed oil with lemon from Niagara Vinegar Co., juice from half a lemon, heaping tbsp of Tahini, (the recipe link I shared from “From a Chef’s Kitchen” called for nuts, but i didn’t have any in the house that would work – so thought I’d try Tahini, and it worked.. really softened and rounded out any sharpness from the Scapes or bitterness from the radish greens) S & P and about 8 garlic scapes.


The result is amazing.   I had quite a bit on some canape crackers.. and am now eating by the spoonfuls while I’m typing.. oh.. mmmmm.  SOOO yummy.


I will definitely be saving all my radish greens from now on, and trying different pesto recipes.. and maybe even freeze some pesto cubes for the winter to have on pasta, chicken, in rice dishes.  mmmmm… Pesto season might be one of my favourites..


oh Guillermo… you better come have some, otherwise you’re not gonna wanna kiss me for about 3 days..


Published by billandamyskitchen

Bill (Guillermo 'cause he likes pretending he knows Spanish) and I (Amy) have been married since Sept 2005. We live in Southern Ontario, Canada - Niagara Peninsula in fact, smack dab between 2 of the Great Lakes. We love God, our family, our church family, and making each other laugh. (ergo the profile pic, he decided to make our photographer laugh by throwing a leg up on me just before the shutter clicked, which made ME laugh) When we married, I told Bill: "I don't know how to cook" but he had faith in me. So 15 years later, I'm still learning, and having fun. I've never (in my whole life) cooked a whole bird, chicken, turkey or otherwise. I've never roasted a beef, other than in a crockpot on low for 8 hrs. I like trying to find healthy & easy recipes and then I rarely follow them. I don't enjoy recipes that take hours or intricate steps. I have a special fondness for the Podleski sisters, writers/creators of the Looney Spoons, Crazy Plates and Yum/Yummer cookbooks. In 2018 we suddenly decided to rip our small house apart from stem to stern, moving out for 4.5 months while the house was demolished inside and out, and then rebuilt with an addition. If you go back in the archives to July-Dec 2018 you can follow that story. It's made our house open and so much more conducive to entertaining, small groups and large. It's given us the kitchen I've dreamed of to create and learn in. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to write about our journey, our faith in God and some fun recipes along the way. Thanks for joining us.

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