This is the first year we have tried growing garlic, and just as we were pleasantly surprised by chive blossoms, garlic scapes were a completely new phenomenon to us. A few weeks before garlic is ready to be harvested, new shoots come out of the plant and curl around, and a blossom starts to form. If you harvest these off before they bloom, they can be a tasty treat. Please see our gardening blog for information on harvesting the garlic scape.
I originally had thoughts to just saute some up so we could really taste them, but then I came across a pesto recipe and decided to go that direction instead, not knowing how powerful the scape would be. I got the recipe idea from a video posted by Grow! Cook! Eat!, although I will post what I actually did below since I didn't follow their recipe exactly.
Garlic Scape Pesto
6-8 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins rubbed off as much as possible
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Whirl the scapes in a food processor until evenly and finely chopped. Add hazelnuts (any nut, but that's what we had!), cheese, and salt until combined. Leave processor on and pour olive oil in a steady thin stream until it is the texture you desire. We leave it somewhat chunky (and less oily) and just thin it out with pasta water; it is a little healthier that way.
We tossed about half the recipe with a pound of pasta and some fresh snow peas, because that was what was on hand.
Actually, I used about double this many scapes, and that was super sharp garlic overkill, so I'd recommend less!!! I'm going to try baking the rest on fish or in a pizza and see if that mellows out the sharpness a bit. Scapes are not shy!!