Featured recipe: Garlic scape pesto

DSC07281It’s that time again at the farmers’ market: beautiful, bushy basil plants and garlic scapes galore. Doesn’t it just beg you to make pesto? Good pesto features good olive oil, and thankfully, Zatoun makes the most incredible (Fair Trade!) extra virgin olive oil. You can buy it at either Ten Thousand Villages location in Ottawa. Also important, though, is to eat as seasonally as we can to be more sustainable, and we can’t forget to support our local farmers! There is amazing basil and a generous bounty of garlic scapes available right now at our farmers’ markets! Check out my favourite pesto recipe below, featuring this gorgeous olive oil and fresh, local produce. It makes a fairly large quantity, but can be halved fairly easily for a smaller yield if your household isn’t as big on pesto as mine is. And as an added bonus, this recipe is naturally gluten-free, raw and vegan! (Try subbing sunflower seeds–perhaps only half the quantity–for the nuts if you have a nut sensitivity in your family.)


Garlic scape pesto

[Gluten-free, vegan, raw]

Makes 2 cups pesto


2 cups (packed) local basil leaves

10-12 local garlic scapes, roughly chopped

1 cup nuts (I used raw cashews and almonds)

1/2 cup Zatoun extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt


In a food processor, blend all ingredients until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the processor with a rubber spatula and process until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides every minute or so while processing. This might take about 5 minutes. Scoop your pesto into airtight containers for storage. If freezing, it can be helpful to freeze your pesto in ice cube trays and then store the cubes in a bag in the freezer so that you have quick access to small portions as needed. If keeping in the fridge, the pesto will be best if consumed within a week.

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