This green garlic pesto recipe can be made with young green garlic leaves or garlic scapes. If you love garlic, you’ll love this recipe!
Vampire-proof yourself with the best green garlic pesto you’ll ever eat
We grow and eat a LOT of heirloom hardneck garlic here at Tyrant Farms. If you want to learn more about hardneck garlic and how to grow it, read our article A love story: why and how to grow hardneck garlic.
What is green garlic?
We’ve been “naturalizing” patches of hardneck garlic throughout our gardens over the years. That simply means we don’t pull up the bulbs when they’d normally be harvested in the summer. Rather we intentionally leave some of them to split and create new garlic plants for the following year.
Over the course of a growing season, each garlic clove forms a new bulb. Over the course of several years, what started as a single garlic clove can become a nice patch of garlic as it continues to split.
From late winter through early spring, the young tender greens and bulbs of these garlic plants can be harvested and used as “green garlic.” Keep in mind that if you pull the whole plant, you’ll kill the plant — which is fine if you’re thinning a patch. Otherwise, you can just trim as many leaves as you need for a recipe.
So if you’ve ever wondered what green garlic is, now you know!
What are garlic scapes?
You can use either green garlic or garlic scapes in this recipe. Garlic scapes are the young, immature flower stalks that hardneck garlic plants send up as the weather warms.
In order to force the plants to form bigger underground bulbs, you snap the garlic scapes off of the plants. These are NOT a waste product. In fact, garlic scapes are considered a delicacy and coveted by high-end restaurants/chefs.
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If this year is your first time growing hardneck garlic, don’t forget to pick your scapes! Not only are they delicious, but removing the scape is necessary if you want your plants to put energy into sizing up their bulbs before harvest. Once the scapes have curled into a half circle, snap them off where they attach to the plant, then go make yourself some garlic scape pesto. Garlic scapes also store a long time in your fridge, 1+ month. #hardneckgarlic #heirloomgarlic #garlic #gardeningtips
Garlic-Lovers Dream: Green Garlic Pesto
Green garlic pesto
A garlic-lover's dream! This delicious, easy-to-make green garlic pesto recipe can be made with either young green garlic or garlic scapes.
- 1 cup young heirloom hard-necked green garlic plants (or garlic scapes)
- 1/4 cup white wine (we use an Albariño)
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 juice of fresh squeezed lemon
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Cut your garlic into chunks 2" or smaller. (Don't use the roots.) Use the premature bulbs and tender green leaves. Set aside the tough leaf tips or outer leaves for soup stock.
Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend on high until uniform texture. Taste before removing to make sure it's perfect for your tastes. Add more nuts for richness. Add more cheese for more creaminess/umami flavor. Add more wine or lemon juice for more acid. Add more olive oil for smoother blend.
Serve on pasta or as a dip on veggies, flat bread, and more. There's no wrong way to eat green garlic pesto!
Where can you get hardneck garlic bulbs to grow your own?
We’d like to encourage you to grow your own heirloom garlic varieties to help preserve these wonderful plants.
Where can you buy hardneck garlic? Our two favorite sources are:
- Filaree Garlic Farm, and
- Whistling Duck (any farm with “duck ” in its name is going to immediately get love from us).