Lemony Garlic Scape and Arugula Pesto

Now, while technically ALL pestos are sauces… some are thicker and more dense than others. This is not that pesto. LOL. This pesto is something that you want to put on EV-ER-Y-THING.

And when I say all, I mean it.

All jokes aside, this might be my favorite garlic scape pesto recipe I make.

It is so layered with flavors: light garlic flavor from the scapes, nuttiness from the arugula and walnut, bright notes from the lemon, richness from the olive oil and parm… a lil kick from the red pepper flakes….

This sauce BEGS to be on everything…. from eggs benedict to steak to fish to poultry to tofu and heck – OVER BURRATA with CRUSTY BREAD… this sauce is just amazing.

Enough from me, though, let’s get to the recipe and reference photos!

Like our first garlic scape pesto recipe, you will want to trim your scapes (remove flower head and any woody/tough ends) before measuring!

Lemony Garlic Scape and Arugula Pesto (makes roughly 2 cups of sauce or 30-32 tbsp)


  • 1 cup trimmed and chopped garlic scapes
  • 1 tub of arugula (roughly 6-7 loosely packed cups)
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan
  • 1 large lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on taste)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add scapes, parm, lemon zest and juice, walnuts and red pepper flakes to food processor. Pulse until combined and broken down into a rough paste.
  2. Add in arugula, a handful at a time (depending on the size of your food processor, you will do this in batches) and blend well until fully combined.
  3. Begin to slowly drizzle in the olive oil. This sauce is meant to be loose aka not a paste. Start by drizzling in 1/2 cup of the oil and check the thickness. If you would like it looser, add more. If you have added all of the oil and find it too loose, you can add in more chopped scapes and parm to thicken. Pulse to break down into the sauce. (NOTE: this will make the sauce less smooth, but have a nice chunk to it. I like it this way, so you get little minced pieces of the scape… )
  4. Storing it is easy as can be: either put in an airtight container and store in fridge to use within 2 weeks OR freeze in tbsp mounds! As it is a bit looser of a sauce, you might need to chill it a bit to thicken it before scooping!

I mean, this sauce is KILLER.

You have the option of adding more red pepper flakes at the end before freezing (I do because hubs likes the heat!)

If you freeze, just popping a few of these lovely lumps into your pasta (with a bit of pasta water reserved if needed) is SO SUPER EASY! Topping a grilled steak with it? You can defrost, or just add to the just finished steak and it will melt all over it! If you are using as a dipping sauce or finisher for fish? Pop a few tbsps into a microwave safe bowl and quickly defrost.

Simple as can be.

Have fun with this one…. it’s definitely a keeper!

More pesto goodness on the way… and also: PICKLED SCAPES!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Perfect combination of flavors of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

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