Garlic Scape

garlic scape pesto

It is garlic scape season in the West Kootenay and at Kootenay Spice we couldn’t be happier! Not only is it the sole time of year to get the fresh & tasty treat, but it also means that the garlic bulbs will be ready for harvest in just a few more weeks!

Garlic Scape

Garlic scapes are the flower stalks that grow up the centre of the plant. They are a sweet and spicy garlic delicacy! Once they have curled or corkscrewed into a full circle, it is time to cut them off. Cut the scapes just above the last set of leaves of the plant.

cutting garlic scapes

We are lucky to have about 50 garlic plants growing in our gardens & clipped the scapes last week. We were also very excited to find large bundles of scapes from Grand Forks Farms at last week’s Trail Market for only $3/bag! Naturally, we couldn’t resist buying a couple of bags, resulting in a total of about 3 pounds of scapes (including our own)!

garlic scapes

Our absolute favourite thing to do with the garlic scapes is make pesto. We like to whip up as much as we can and freeze it in ice cube trays for easy use. This year we have also set a handful of scapes aside to try a few new recipes like stir-fry and wrapping them in bacon. We are very excited to try the new dishes and will be sure to share the recipes with you!

If you grow your own garlic or can find scapes at your local vendor’s market, you will definitely want to try this super-simple recipe! Don’t forget to pick up (or pick your own) fresh basil too!

(sorry, we forgot the pepper and basil in the pic)

(sorry, we forgot the pepper and basil in the pic)

For one batch of pesto (approx. 3 cups), you will need the following:

1 lb garlic scapes, cut into 2 – 4 inch pieces
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup fresh basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice (approx. ½ fresh lemon, squeezed)
Smoked rock salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste

(optional) 1 cup cashews

Roughly chop the garlic scapes into chunks. Put them in a food processor with the oil, parmesan, basil, lemon juice and (optional) cashews. Chop until they form a paste and add the salt and pepper. A single recipe should take about 8 – 10 minutes of processing.

pureed pesto

Once the pesto is processed, transfer the paste to a sealed bag.

garlic scape pesto in bag

Carefully clip a small piece of the corner of the bag and squeeze evenly into ice cube trays.

garlic scape pest into trays

Freeze for a couple of days and transfer the cubes to a sealed bag for better storage.

pesto in ice cube trays

Now you have delicious garlic scape pesto at the ready! Take cubes out of the freezer as you need them. Some of our favourite treats include pesto chicken, pasta or simply spread on crackers or melba toast! Enjoy!

the power of print


A view down the Columbia River near the community of Genelle, BC, about 15 minutes from Trail.

As we’ve mentioned before in our community post, we live in a small hamlet minutes outside of a southern interior BC town of about 7,500 people. Trail, as well as many communities in the West Kootenay, has a wonderful, well read newspaper that is a great supporter of local business.

June 7 was the first Outdoor Trail Market for 2013 and was our busiest Kootenay Spice venue yet! The weather was perfect and we owe much thanks to an article printed in the local paper, the Trail Times. Many customers stopped by our stand just because they had read about us in the paper!

Dan McIlmoyle Kootenay Spice pic for Trail Times

Dan’s photo that appeared with the market article in the Trail Times.

This past Thursday, a version of the article was also featured in the West Kootenay Advertiser, a regional publication that is delivered to 25,000 homes in the West Kootenay. We have already received phone orders as a result! To read the article, click here.

We make a conscious effort to support local business and appreciate so much when others do the same!

We look forward to the next Trail Market on June 21. We have also been looking into other local summer markets like the Saturday market in Castlegar (every Saturday from 9 – 1). Be sure to follow us on Facebook, we will let you know where we will be and when we will be there!