This is the best pesto I have ever tasted. I whipped it up to put on salmon filets for our dinner tonight. When the Midwestern Gentleman tasted it, his eyes widened and he said, “can we just forget the salmon and each have a bowl of this for dinner?” If you like a chunky, fragrant, in-your-face-flavorful pesto, then you may love this one, too. Bonus: it’s an anti-inflammatory powerhouse packed with garlic scapes, scallions, herbs, almonds, and olive oil. (There’s just a bit of parmesan for additional flavor, but you could leave it out if you’re strict about no dairy.)
I’m growing garlic in my garden this year, from bulbs my mom brought me last fall from her own garden in Connecticut. The scape is the curly stalk that rises from the center of the plant with the flower bud on it. Many horticulturists believe that trimming the scapes off before they blossom encourages the plants to put more energy into growing fat garlic bulbs. Whether or not that is true, the scapes are certainly delicious. They have a milder flavor than garlic bulb, and a fresh “green” taste, too.
While I was out collecting the scapes from the garden, I trimmed back some herbs to encourage bushier growth. So I added the herbs to the pesto as well, giving the mixture a fresh, yet complex, flavor.
Chunky Garlic Scape & Almond Pesto
1/3 cup whole roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup garlic scapes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup scallions, chopped, loosely packed
1 Tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (I used: sage, thyme, basil)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (or 2 Tbsp finely grated)
1/3 cup (or more) olive oil
salt to taste
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times until well-chopped and thoroughly combined.
Add the olive oil and continue to process until desired consistency. If you like a looser pesto, add more olive oil. If you like a finer texture, grind the ingredients for longer. Makes about 1 cup. (Note: If you use salted almonds, make sure to taste the pesto before adding any additional salt. Using unsalted nuts will give you greater control over the amount of salt added.)