Friday, June 14, 2013


Apparently when one talks about food, one is supposed to provide recipes.

Problem is that one (me), trained by Burda, cooks like she sews - cursory look at the ingredient list, deeper look at what's in the fridge/pantry/garden, heavy sigh, make it work.

So, basil/garlic scape pesto, as best I can describe it:

Take a bunch of garlic scapes (I had about 20; the section of the garlic bed where the stray cat lays hasn't put up scapes yet), cut off and discard the pointy heads, which are the seed pods, and cut the rest into inch long pieces.

Take your basil (in my case, about 3 cups worth - I know this only because I have a 4 cup food processor), put it in the food processor with a good slug of olive oil, and whiz down to a lovely green paste.  Add the chopped garlic scapes, more oil, and whiz again.  I'm not being deliberately vague on the oil, I just add whatever feels right.  This may also depend on how pasty or smooth you like your pesto.

Salt and pepper to taste, whiz.  I know there should be pine nuts or some other nuts in pesto, but I didn't have any, so instead I added a heaping tablespoon of goat cheese.  Not sure how that was a substitute, but it's tasty so who cares?

Lemon juice to taste, then a nice helping of grated parmesan.  Whiz one more time, taste again.

Cook pasta, drain.  Add a little olive oil to the pot, whirl the pasta around in the oil so it's coated and doesn't stick together.

Put your pasta in bowls, add a big dollop of pesto on top, a few grinds of black pepper and another sprinkle of parmesan.  Mix, eat, go back for seconds.

That's the closest I can come to a written recipe, folks.  It's all seat of the pants in the kitchen as well, but other than having to clean the food processor (which is a job I choose not to do), it's quick, easy, requires no cooking and, if you're lucky, you have some left over for another night.

Serves 6, maybe (2 bowls each the first time, probably enough left for another 2 servings).


Anonymous said...

Love it! You cook like me. :)

Brenda said...

Thank you. That was a great description. That was all I needed. It sounds wonderful. I have an Italian cook book that also has a recipe that uses walnuts if you have no pine nuts. Brenda (the demanding commenter that wanted the recipe)

Far said...

Sounds YumMY! I Make Up My own Concoction All The Time Too Lol!

Summer Flies said...

Yes I like that description of cooking too. I find the traditional pine nuts a little heavy so I use cashews or walnuts too (whatever I have) and I like the wild card of feta - yum!!!

Teddylyn said...

Sounds delicious! We made pesto while on vacation in Italy at an agrotourismo. Chef only used locally grown ingredients, so I know you can even substitute arugula for basil and peeled almonds for pine nuts. Garlic and olive oil have no substitutes!

Have fun cooking from your yard!


Mary Beth said...

Yup, that's how I cook, too. Makes it difficult to share recipes. Yours sounds wonderful! BTW everything is coming up scapes, isn't it?

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I knew I should have put some garlic scapes into the pesto I made last weekend! I add pine nuts as well, but you're right, there's no way to tell someone how much oil to use.

Anonymous said...

I like how you whiz... My approach to cooking is about the same. And it *usually* turns out a-okay.

And also... garlic scapes... YUM-O!