Pesto is one of those easy weeknight dinners in my house and is always a big deal! As an added bonus, it is something that the whole family will eat at the same time. I love combining fresh herbs, lemon, and nuts into a delicious plant-based pesto and tossing it with pasta noodles. For pesto, I choose a short curly noodle to ensure that the sauce cllings to each noodle. Serve the pasta with a simple tossed salad and toasted bread and dinner is done!
One of my family’s favorites is a basil pine nut pesto. The recipe below describes our most recent pesto combination: basil, pine nuts, and the bulbs and tender stems of elephant garlic scapes. Scapes are harvested from the hardneck garlic plant and actually must be removed to ensure the rest of the plant and bulbs grow properly. Thankfully, they are delicious and not quite as pungent as traditional garlic cloves and arrived in my latest CSA box. If you cannot find garlic scape, simply substitute half the amount of scapes with traditional garlic cloves.
Garlic Scape Basil Pesto
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 5 garlic scapes (tender stems and bulbs roughly chopped)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Toast pine nuts for 5-7 minutes in oven at 350 degrees. Remove when light golden brown.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.