Garlic scapes are those wonderful curlicues above ground on the garlic bulbs. Removing some of them while they’re growing will increase the size of the bulbs, and the scapes themselves are pungent and garlicky and herby, too. So if you’ve got ‘em or can find them, use them in pesto! Otherwise, read below how to substitute garlic cloves instead.

1 C chopped garlic scapes*½ C fresh basil leaves
½ C fresh parsley, cilantro and/or dill½ C extra virgin olive***
½ C nuts and/or seeds**2 tsp good salt
1 tsp black pepper1 tsp lemon juice

Put ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until mixture moves under the steel blade. Stop once or twice to scrape down work bowl with rubber spatula. Process another 30 sec (60 sec for a smoother texture).

Now that you have pesto, how can you use it? Toss a few tablespoons with warm quinoa; mix with cannellini beans, over pasta, as a sauce on pizza, or on crusty wholegrain bread. Dollop on ripe tomatoes. Use as dip for cucumber or peppers. On chicken, tofu, seafood. Pesto really goes with everything!

Yes, it freezes beautifully. I always have lots of little jars in the freezer. Terrific to dress up a dish for when I have company. Delish to stir into a winter soup. There’s no parmesan or Romano in this pesto. I prefer it this way, but you can add ½ a cup if you choose!

*If you don’t have scapes, use a few cloves of garlic and increase the amount of other herbs by one more cup. Use your favorite herbs, the ones you have growing in your garden or the ones you have in your fridge. I’ve always loved lots of parsley in my pesto (use stems and all).

**I default to cashews, but I sometimes use hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, real Mediterranean pine nuts, walnuts, etc.

***or use dark, earthy Austrian pumpkinseed oil for an earthier flavor; hempseed oil or avocado oil for something lighter.