Embrace the unique flavors of the season with Garlic Scape Pesto, a vibrant twist on the classic sauce that highlights the fresh, mildly garlicky taste of young garlic scapes from your garden. Blended with fragrant basil, toasted pine nuts, and a generous splash of olive oil, this pesto offers a creamy, zesty burst of summer in every spoonful. Perfect for tossing with pasta, spreading on sandwiches, or using as a dip, this versatile recipe celebrates the fleeting but fantastic flavors of early summer harvests.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Kristina Razon
Enjoy the fresh, zesty flavors of summer with Garlic Scape Pesto, featuring young garlic scapes blended with basil, pine nuts, and olive oil for a creamy, versatile sauce.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Ingredient
Servings 1.25 cups


  • 5 garlic scapes woody ends trimmed and scapes roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice plus 1 teaspoon grated zest from 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1.5 oz basil leaves washed with water still clinging to the leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine scapes, pine nuts, and lemon juice and zest, and season with salt. Process, scraping down sides halfway through with a flexible spatula, until scapes and nuts are broken down into small pieces, about 1 minute. 
  • Add cheese and process until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add basil and pulse until finely minced, about ten 1-second pulses. 
  • Transfer scape mixture to a medium bowl. While stirring continuously, slowly pour olive oil into scape mixture in a thin stream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pesto can be used right away, or transferred to a jar or container, covered with a thin  layer of olive oil, and sealed, then stored following the instructions below.


Storage Note: Garlic scape pesto can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
This recipe was originally published on the Serious Eats blog
Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

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