Garlic Scape Pesto made with Hemp Seed Hearts
It's garlic scape season and that means making pesto at the homestead. Pesto is a great way to preserve your scapes for later use because it is easily frozen and has many wonderful uses. I also like to make garlic scape compound butter, but that is another post.
We plant around 75-100 garlic cloves every Fall and so by early Summer we will have a sink full of scapes! Below is my recipe that I have adapted from the standard peso recipes. We love adding hempseed hearts and hempseed oil to our cooking because they are so nutritious and very high in essential fatty acids, protein, vitamin E and several minerals including phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc which your body needs.
Pesto is wonderful served with pasta of course, but it is also delightful on oven toasted bruschetta, melted over your sizzling steak, on pizza instead of red sauce, tossed in with your veggies, or even made into a dip for your chips! I am sure you can come up with even more ways to eat it. My favorite is just off the spoon!
So first you need fresh garlic scapes. What is a scape? It is the flower stalk of the hard neck garlic that is harvested so plant can focus its energy on producing large, beautiful bulbs of garlic. They are plentiful at your local Farmers' Market in early Summer.
Rinse the scapes off in cool water and then remove tops. Next cut off the tops just below the flower and chop into small pieces. Chop the basil into smaller pieces as well and place both into your food processor.Zest the skin of 1 lemon and then a squeeze the juice of the lemon into a small bowl to catch any stray seeds. Add to food processor the lemon juice and zest. Measure 1/4 Cup Hemp seed hearts ( I use Organic Hemp Hearts by Manitoba Harvest) and add to food processor. Measure out 2 Tablespoons Hemp seed oil ( I use organic Hemp seed oil by Nutiva) into a 1/2 Cup measuring cup and then fill with good quality, organic, extra virgin olive oil. Add oil to the food processor. Next, grate the Parmesan cheese and add it to the food processor. Add a pinch of Himalayan Salt that has been ground. Blend/chop in food processor until desired consistency.
Here is the recipe that I use:
1 Cup garlic scapes, sliced ( about 10 - 12 scapes)
1/4 Cup Hemp Seed Hearts
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Cup Olive Oil Minus 2 TBSP
2 TBSP Hemp Seed Oil
Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
Your garlic scape and hemp seed heart pesto is now ready to enjoy!
Since I have so many garlic scapes each year I make multiple batches of this and freeze it into very large ice cubes that I then transfer into freezer bags. Each large cube of pesto is one serving and makes it easy to utilize throughout the Winter. The ice cube trays I use are made by Kitch and are designed for cocktails but are great for freezing pesto as well. The silicone makes it easy to remove the pesto from the tray after freezing.