Make, Jane, make!: Garlic Scape and Pea Pesto


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Friday, August 1, 2014

Garlic Scape and Pea Pesto

Am I late to the party? I only just discovered that you can make pesto with fresh peas and I love the result. Fresh... and sweet... and the colour! The colour is even better than regular basil pesto because it stays beautifully pale green through refrigeration or heating.

I originally set out to make a garlic scape pesto but wasn't sure if I could ever get the kids to eat it since scape pesto tends to be so spicy. Then I remembered seeing pictures of pea pesto and figured that if anything could tone down the super concentrated garlicky flavour that results from grinding up a bagful of scapes, it would be fresh peas from the pod.

No special recipe here. Just the paper bag of scapes and peas from the pod (both from our CSA box), some parmesan and some salt into the food processor, finished off with a touch of olive oil to make it all come together. I didn't add a lot of oil because I wanted it to keep some of the crispness of the fresh peas and I didn't want it to turn into pea soup.

I have to admit that the ratio of scapes to peas was a little high and my pesto still had a bit of bite to it. I would recommend that the ratio of peas to scapes be about 2:1 for a milder tasting pesto. That being said, the pesto was still much tastier than if I'd made the pesto with scapes alone and the flavour mellowed out significantly after being tossed with some warm pasta, pasta water and cream.

Hubby enjoyed his pasta with a little extra shaved parmesan and freshly torn basil. He declared that it had some good "gar-parm" flavour, which is actually the best way to describe it. And it's kid-approved as well -  child #1 and #3 had two servings each.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to write this post in the early summer when peas and scapes were plentiful, but if you do come across peas at your farmer's market, try this recipe out and join the pea pesto party :)

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