Garlic Stalk Pesto (aka garlic scape pesto) and other ideas for what to do with garlic scapes

This is a very serious pesto made from the immature flower stalks of garlic (often known as scapes, spears, stems or tops, garlic bolts or 蒜苔 in Chinese (suantai)) – not for the faint-hearted. If you can’t get garlic stalks you can use a bulb of garlic and a leek. You can get amazing elephant garlic scapes in May or June from here.


what to do with garlic scapes
Garlic scapes


Ideas for what to do with garlic scapes

You can chop garlic scapes and add them (treating them a bit as you might spring onions) to omelettes, scrambled eggs, stir fries, fried rice, dips, salad dressings. You can fry and add to a pizza topping. Or combine with butter to make a flavoured butter to go with fish.


And then you can make this pesto. Either serve it with pasta, an extra glug of olive oil, and some additional Parmesan flakes


mix with a little extra olive oil and add a tablespoon to cauliflower soup


serve it (maybe mixed with some ricotta) on black olive crackers with some cold dry sherry….to people who aren’t off to important meetings or job interviews.


Recipe for Garlic Stalk Pesto


  • 150g/6oz nice big bunch garlic stalks
  • 75g/3 oz/¾ cup Parmesan, grated
  • 150g/6 oz/1½ cups roasted or dry-fried hazelnuts, chopped
  • juice and zest of 1½ lemons
  • 360ml/1½ cups olive oil
  • smoked salt and Indonesian long pepper


  1. Blitz wild garlic leaves either in a deep small-circumferenced bowl or saucepan and use your stick blender, or in a Magimix, till really quite small.
  2. Then add hazelnuts… and then Parmesan.
  3. With blade still running slowly add oil – it shouldn’t be too runny.
  4. Add lemon juice and the salt and pepper.
  5. Put in fridge for as long as possible to allow the flavours to intensify.


what are garlic scapes
Serve the pesto with black olive crackers.


For a post on how to make traditional and all kinds of other pestos, follow this link.

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Domini Hogg

I think these are also known as garlic bolts or и’њи‹” in Chinese (suantai). They are delicious with a sauce because they soak it all up.

Domini Hogg

where can you get them in the UK?


from the South West Garlic Farm – and the garlic farm in the Isle of Wight –

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