Yummy in a Bento: Garlic scape pesto pasta

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I just haven’t really had opportunities to bento so far over the summer holidays.  I suspect this is a trend that will continue.  However, I just made some garlic scape pesto, and it’s so delicious and bento-friendly (if you have a mint or two handy!), I had to share a recipe instead of a completed bento.

Garlic scapes are the long spiralling shoots from a garlic bulb that will lead to a bloom.  Usually discarded so the plant can focus on growing a bulb, not a flower, in turn means deliciousness for us!  They can be eaten raw or cooked.

I made a vegan pesto with scapes from the farmers’ market (traditional pesto contains parmesan; you could try substituting with nutritional yeast, but honestly, this was yummy without either).  Here’s an approximation of what went into the magic bullet:

  • about 1 cup of garlic scapes, trimmed, and cut into 2cm/1″ pieces
  • 2 tablespoons raw whole almonds – you could use pine nuts if those are on hand instead
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Let your food processor/magic bullet whizz this around until there are no discernable large pieces.  There will be the odd one; that’s okay!

I tossed a big spoonful of pesto into about 2 cups of cooked pasta, with about 2 spoonfuls of cooking water from the pasta to loosen it a bit.  I ground some black pepper over – the pasta was salted, so no need for more seasoning.  I ate 1/2 for dinner, and have enough left over to fill a small tier.

Tasty add-ons to go over top could be balsamic vinegar and/or grated parmesan cheese.  I suspect this would be amazing on fresh baguette or sourdough slices too.

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