Garlic Scape Kale Pesto
You know a recipe is a hit when your amazing farmers’ market customers ask if they can purchase some pesto after trying a sample. That’s what happened at Old Town Farmer’s Market yesterday. While we won’t be renting commercial kitchen space to whip this deliciousness up to sell anytime soon, we do grow and sell many of the ingredients and are happy to share our farm fresh recipe with you, so you can make it yourself. After all, growing and making healthy foods are some of our ultimate passions, and inspiring others to do the same is pretty awesome too.
We love pesto and make it all sorts of ways. It’s fun to change up the greens, the nuts and seeds, the garlic, and the oil. This version uses garlic scapes, the zingy and flavorful flower stalk that is harvested from hardneck garlic varieties in late spring. Pesto is super adaptable though, and regular, smoked, or roasted garlic can easily be swapped for the scapes if they are out of season. Start with 2 cloves and add more if your family’s garlic tolerance is as high as ours!
Garlic Scape Kale Pesto
1 cup chopped garlic scapes (see note above about subbing other garlic)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Juice of 1 large lemon
3/4 teaspoon sea salt (our Herb Garden Salt is especially delicious here)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups kale, washed, destemmed and roughly chopped
In a food processor, pulse garlic scapes until diced.
Add sunflower seeds, walnuts, olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper and process until thoroughly combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
Place kale in food processor and blitz until broken down and incorporated. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is evenly mixed.
Taste and adjust seasonings to suite your preference. Some may wish to add a bit more oil, a little more lemon, or more salt.
Store in the refrigerator for a week or the in the freezer for a couple months.
Pesto is so versatile and can be used in a plethora of ways. Here are some of our favorite ways to use it.
Served on a charcuterie board with veggies and crackers
Stirred into pastas or pasta salads
Spread on sandwiches or toast (amazing on BLTs!)
Dolloped on pizza
Mixed into scrambled eggs or omelets
Slathered over new potatoes or steamed vegetables
To make this vegan, either use vegan parmesan or substitute nutritional yeast (start with a couple tablespoons of nooch and adjust to your liking).
To make this nut-free, simply replace the walnuts with more sunflower seeds or use a mixture of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds.