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« Before and After | Main | The Real Dirt on Farmer John »

June 05, 2005


Mark Lindley

Garlic Scape Pesto / Hummus Dip was a huge hit at a party this past Sunday. Note that only a couple recipes I found on the Internet point out that you should cut off the scapes below the bulge where the flower bud begins. Use the tops as decorations for the pesto / hummus dip. In the recipe certain ingredients are not essential but enhance the result, making it smoother, richer or both. You may omit the spinach or pine nuts, for example, if you don't have them, but they are nice touches.

1-2 cups of garlic scapes
1-1 1/2 lemons
1 can chickpeas, drained.
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1-2 teaspoons salt
2-3 cups "tender" greens such as spinach, arugula, spicy greens mix
2-3 tablespoons sesame tahini
1 cup or more finely grated parmesan or romano cheese
1 cup pine nuts

Remove tops from 1-2 cups of scapes and reserve as decorations; cut in 2 in. lengths. Process with 1/2 - 1 cup olive oil in food processor for 2-3 min. until finely chopped.

Add drained chickpeas.
Add 2-3 tablespoons sesame tahini.
Add juice of 1 - 1 1/2 lemons, seeds removed.
Add 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste. You (I) want it to have an edge, but not to be overtly "Hot."
Add 1-2 teaspoons salt - I use kosher, but any will do. Salt to taste, not too much.
Process until chickpeas are finely ground.

You may want to taste at this point to see if more cayenne is needed. Note that the sauce will "heat up" as it sits.

Add 2-3 cups spinach or spicy greens or arugula, whatever you have, for more green color and to lighten the hummus. Process until finely ground and well integrated in sauce.

I also added 1 cup finely grated parmesan and a cup or so of pine nuts, also all ground in for another minute or two.

You want the sauce to be smooth for dipping. The raw scapes resist chopping so they require a good deal of processing. The end result will still have a little texture from the scapes and the pine nuts - a good thing!

As a dip, finish by putting dip in a bowl and dribbling fine extra virgin olive oil over it. As a future revision I would add some lightly toasted cumin seed: heat 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed in a skillet until it begins to be aromatic; grind it coarsely in a mortar; mix 1/2 in the dip. Sprinkle the remainder over the top.

This sauce / dip could as well be used as a pasta dressing or over a piece of fish to be baked. In this instance I served it as a dip in a bowl with peeled raw kohlrabi sliced thin and cut in half as chips. It got rave reviews.

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