Garlic Scape and Crispy Almond Pesto

Settling into my first full year as a CSA {Buying Club} member, I’m really getting into collecting the bounty of whatever is there. Living frugally can be a challenge when it comes to trying to eat local, but now and again I find things that really remind me why I’m CSA’ing. First I fell in love with rhubarb, and now garlic scapes. They are adorable, springy, vibrant and cute!

This year I’m experiencing new, truly local, fresh and organic foods more than ever before. I’m finding things I’ve never seen before, and familiar favorites are really a world away from a market purchased variety. For years we have gone strawberry picking, apple picking , blueberry and cherry picking too but organic? That is really pretty hard to come by in these parts.

If your family is anything like mine, to reach into your own neighborhood to buy real, whole foods there is inevitably going to have to be some sort of sacrifice. Unfortunately we all live in a world where real food is secondary. The reality for us is that we live in the sticks, which is a challenge when your trying to eat a balanced whole-foods diet. Organic and otherwise, 100% un-processed meals can really get expensive fast. We cancelled our cable, we don’t go out, … I spend A LOT of my time shopping around, evaluating and plotting my next move meal.

Inevitably all of this meticulous planning gets set aside on CSA day. I think its part of the rush for me, its like a veggie buzz. When I get home there is a jolt of duck, cover, preserve! Although I have never seen garlic scapes before I’m absolutely blessed with a hand held googler! I came across 7 Things to Do With Garlic Scapes (Serious Eats) , A Garlic Festival without a Single Clove (NY Times) and last but not least: I did a search on Saveur.com with these results. Naturally a pesto had to be made.

Garlic Scape and Crispy Almond Pesto Recipe

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… I worked in New Hope. Every now and then Man Meat would bring me one of my favorite lunches, a ricotta and spinach calzone with pesto. Every time I make pesto I can’t help but to think of that time and how it feels like a lifetime ago. Pesto has been a bit of a thorn in my side though. Its super easy, super satisfying, bold and green. But Balanced, really good pesto? Hard to tackle with nut allergies in the house. So far I have had good luck with almonds and one time I used sunflower seeds. Pesto is perfect on steak, chicken, shrimp, pasta, sourdough or even salads. Pesto is a great classic spread, or sauce. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of good, fresh Parmesan cheese if you’d like. Don’t put the cheese in if you plan on freezing it.

  • 5 or 6 garlic scapes, roughly chopped (just under 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Crispy Almonds
  • 2 heaping teaspoons, Dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  • Fresh cracked Pepper 

Place ingredients into a food processor, mini chopper or blender. (I am absolutely infatuated with my ancient jerk of a blender now that I know I can simply attach a mason jar to the blade!) Blend until smooth-ish, you want a consistent texture with no big chunks. Add grated cheese if you’d like and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving, can refrigerated up to 1 week.

To Freeze: Place in an airtight container with plenty of head space for expansion. I use mason jars but Pesto cubes are a pretty cool idea. Single servings in a second!  -Can be Frozen up to six months-

Raw-Soaked and Crisped Almonds work great in this recipe and perilla pesto as well. I modify the Nourishing Traditions recipe which is pretty much identical to this one

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