Get it While it’s Fresh: Garlic Scape Pesto Yo!

 In Go Go Green Thumbs

Written by: Sumati Shah

Garlic scapes are a more subtle flavour than bulbs, so I like this whole new flavour profile putting a twist on the traditional pesto that I know and love already. If you like cilantro you’ll love this slightly more chunky pesto, if you don’t (cilantro being a love it or hate it kind of a flavour), then just stick with basil instead.

This recipe takes about 15 minutes and makes about 4 cups, it’s easily frozen for enjoying later (leave about 3″ headspace in a quart jar to freeze). It’s also easily scaled…. for the amount of garlic scapes on hand at any one time I usually make a half batch or smaller.


  • 2 cups fresh garlic scape stems (approx. 24 scapes)
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 lemons juiced


  1. Slice scapes crosswise making 2″ lengths.
  2. In a food processor, pulse for 30 to 40 seconds.
  3. Scrape scapes down into the bowl.
  4. Add sunflower seeds, pulse again 15-20 seconds & scrape down the sides.
  5. Add olive oil & Parmesan cheese, pulse again 15-20 seconds.
  6. Finally, add cilantro and lemon juice. Pulse until the desired consistency is achieved.


Rule of Green Thumbs:  Garlic… grow it & eat it! (It’s a no-brainer!)

Cilantro often bolts quickly, plant some seeds just as you see the scapes starting to show on your garlic crop and you should have perfectly timed cilantro ready at the same time as your garlic scape harvest.

Bonus tip: the scapes in this picture were harvested a little bit early because of wet weather…usually it’s ideal to wait until the scapes curl to cross over their own stems (2 of them are like this in the pic) as the signal that it’s the perfect time to harvest them.


Go Go Green Thumbs!



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