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NewMax Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic grows in two main varieties, hard stem and soft stem. The garlic you buy at the grocery store is typically soft stem garlic. It is grown in California, but a great deal of store-bought garlic is imported from China. Hard stem garlic is grown in northern climates where daylight exceeds twelve hours. Hard stem garlic has a flowerlike stem at this time of year called a scape. Scapes have a great mild garlic taste and makes great pesto, stir fry, salads or used like you would chives or stick onions.


Scapes are not flowers- they are a flowerlike bud that has what are called bulbils. Bulbils are tiny garlic bulbs that can grow into full size garlic bulbs over two more seasons. Next year the bulbils will be one clove garlic plants known as green garlic. The third year the green garlic grows into full size bulbs with the usual 6 to 12 cloves. One picks the scapes to direct the plant’s energy to the bulbs. Garlic is also propagated by planting the individual cloves in the fall and harvesting them the following season.


Garlic Scape Pesto


  • Two cups garlic scape stems cut into I inch pieces, some like the bulbils included as well

    • Optional- add ½ c packed basil and/or spinach leaves

  • ½ cup grated Romano or parmesan cheese

  • 1T lemon or lime juice

  • ½ cup high quality flavorful olive oil

  • 1/3 cup nuts, I prefer pecans but pine nuts, or walnuts are nice as well

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • All quantities are approximate, adjust them as your imagination dictates


  1. In a food processor or blender pulse the scapes, basil, nuts and lemon juice into a rough paste.

  2. Add cheese and pulse

  3. While the machine is running drizzle in the oil until a smooth paste is achieved.

  4. Add salt and pepper to taste


Use this pesto as a pasta sauce, dip, stir fry with shrimp, spread on toast points and broil. Pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays and used on those cold winter nights when you crave those summer days.

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