Orzo, Asparagus and Garlic Scapes in Garlic Scape Pesto

Written by Diana - May 29, 2012 8 Comments

What to eat when it’s hot outside ? A salad with pesto as the dressing is better than mayo or heavy dressings and parts of it can be made ahead of time to be combined sometime later before you eat.  Both my husband and my son enjoyed this for dinner, my husband loved it so much he finished off whatever was leftover that same evening.

I received garlic scapes in my market bag and used it in the pesto and the salad itself, chopping it into pieces about one to two inches in length.  I cut the asparagus and the leeks to the same size as the garlic scapes (though they weren’t used in the pesto).  I prepared this again with more asparagus for our Memorial Day family gathering, but I have broccolini that would work well and so would fresh peas.

Garlic scapes are substituted for garlic in this dish, I used it in the pesto and the salad.  They are the seed heads that shoot up among the garlic, cutting the scape off is supposed to lead to a bigger head of garlic.  While you are patiently waiting for your garlic to grow, you can cut off your scape and substitute it in your recipes.


Orzo, Asparagus and Garlic Scapes in a Garlic Scape Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A cold pesto and pasta salad.
Recipe type: Pasta Salad
Serves: 4-6
  • Bunch Parsley
  • Bunch Oregano
  • 2 Garlic Scapes
  • Bunch Basil
  • ¼ cup Pine Nuts divided
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 8 oz dried Orzo
  • 8 Asparagus stalks
  • 4 Garlic Scapes
  • 2 Leeks
  • Pine Nuts
  • Grated Parmesan
  1. Place all Pesto ingredients into a food processor or magic bullet.
  2. Drizzle olive oil in and pulse.
  3. Check to see if the pesto is the right consistency - it should be loose enough to toss with salad and coat the pasta, but not too loose that it will just slide right off.
  4. If it isn't loose enough add more oil and pulse again.
  5. Cook Orzo according to package directions.
  6. Slice the garlic scapes, the asparagus and the leeks.
  7. The leeks will need to be rinsed again so that all of the dirt and sand is removed.
  8. Drain pasta and the vegetables and toss together.
  9. Toast Pine Nuts and add to the Pasta
  10. Toss the pesto with the pasta salad.
  11. Sprinkle Parmesan, salt and pepper and toss again.
If it is a side, it will serve more than if it is the main dish. To make ahead, keep pasta and veggies separate from the pesto because pasta will absorb the oil. Combine right before using.


I’m adding a note here that I’m entering this pasta salad as my entry for Culinary Smackdown – Battle Salad.  Come visit and see the entries.


Read the Comments

8 Outstanding Responses to "Orzo, Asparagus and Garlic Scapes in Garlic Scape Pesto"

    gg on May 31, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Diana, you only have a ton of my favorite things in this salad–pesto, orzo, asparagus and pretty much everything else.  This is one that would be great warm or cold.  I could totally see myself scarfing up the leftovers the next day (if there were any!).  Thanks for playing!!

    gg on June 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

    If you haven’t seen my post, congratulations to you!!  Looking forward to what you’ll pick for June.  Cheers,


    Janice on June 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Wow.  This sounds great.  I know it will be wonderful.

    Erica on June 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I am curious about scapes! It sounds interesting and delicious!

    Diana on June 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Scapes are the garlic seed heads when you are growing your garlic bulb. If you chop it off, it’s supposed to help the bulb become bigger. You can use it as a substitute for garlic in your dishes. Great in pesto.

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Next Ms. Diana of Cookerati joined in with her wonderful orzo salad.  She also used something I’ve never tried–garlic scapes–and added a kick of parsley to her pesto.  I love all the ingredients in this one.  Even though I’ve never used garlic scapes, I love garlic, so I know I already love them. […]

  2. By Food News – June 2, 2012 | Cookerati on June 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    […] my own horn here…. I won May’s Culinary Smackdown with my Orzo, Asparagus and Garlic Scapes in a Garlic Scape Pesto. We’re a small but friendly group and I encourage bloggers to join in June’s […]

  3. By Small Bites: Garlic Scapes – Cookerati on June 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    […] Try this recipe: Orzo, Asparagus and Garlic Scapes in a Garlic Scape Pesto […]

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