Recipe: Garlic Scape Pesto

Moving away from the Union Square Green Market has been hard on us, but the “lemonade” is an excuse to join one of the many fabulous CSAs in South Berkshire County. (A little known fact: one of the first CSAs in America was established right here in Egremont, MA; Indian Line Farm was started by Robyn Van En, Jan Vander Tuin and a group of local community members in 1985.) Though it was a tough decision, we decided to go with a work-share at Laura Meister’s Farm Girl Farm, a farm we have admired from afar for years. Obviously we are thrilled to get our hands a little dirty and come home with fresh veg all the way through November. But we’re also excited to see where our weekly bag of goodies takes us and the recipes on this blog.

Sure enough, our first few shares of the year brought curly bundles of bright green garlic scape inspiration. While the first few batches were perfect grilled as a side dish or sauteed into pastas, we thought we would make a pesto out of the late-season scapes and slather it on a grilled chicken. Another selling point: other than the delectable Parmigiano from Rubiner's and the dry Rose Silka insisted on picking up, everything we needed for the meal was in our not-so-well-stocked pantry. A quick grill and a speedy spin of the food processor handed us a gorgeous summer dinner, plus extra pesto to freeze for later.

Garlic Scape Pesto

+ 1 bunch of garlic scapes
+ 1/3 cup pine nuts
+ 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
+ Kosher salt and black pepper
+ 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 tbs

1. Chop the scapes in to one inch lengths and sautee in a pan with a little olive oil.
2. When the scapes turn a vibrant dark green, and release their aroma, remove from the pan.
3. Puree the garlic scapes, pine nuts, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped - pulsing works best. Then, with the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the opening. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. Spread on everything!

The pesto keeps in the fridge for 1 week or frozen for a month.

To make our grilled chicken rub the pesto on a butterflied bird then grill as you normally would, “basting” with extra pesto as it cooks. The pesto would also be fabulous on pasta, or as the base of a salad dressing, dipping sauce or aioli.

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