Garlic scapes are one of my favorite spring treats. They are the stalks that grow from hard neck garlic varieties, but they are usually harvested before they flower to allow the garlic plant to focus its energy into producing the garlic bulbs. You can find them in the farmer's market in May and June - they're the curly green guys.
I also love to make pestos out of all sorts of greens - definitely basil, but also ramps, cilantro, arugula, carrot tops, and everything in between. Garlic scapes make an awesome pesto, either combined with pesto or on their own. It's great on pasta, pizza, or any other way that you would use basil pesto, but for this recipe I decided to swirl it into a loaf of 100% whole grain spelt sourdough for a potently garlicky treat.
Garlic scape pesto (Makes extra - great for pasta, pizza, etc)
4-5 garlic scapes
2 handfuls of basil (optional)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast (or you can use vegan parmesan cheese)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
Chop up your scapes into 2 inch long pieces. Add them to a high speed blender or food processor along with the basil, walnuts, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Pulse very finely chopped. Then add the water and olive oil and blend until smooth.
Spelt sourdough with garlic scape pesto swirl
100g sourdough starter (fed)
500g spelt flour (you can use another flour if you prefer)
About 2/3 cups garlic scape pesto
Whisk the water into the sourdough starter until it is smooth. Add the spelt flour and salt and stir to combine.
In 30 minutes, use a spatula or your hands to gently stir and stretch the dough a few times. Repeat this twice more, each after 30 additional minutes.
Leave the dough to bulk rise overnight at room temperature (or about 12 hours).
Use your hands to flatten the dough into a rectangle which is the length of your baking vessel and about 1 inch thick. Spread the pesto on the dough as pictured above.
Roll the dough up like you are making a roll of cinnamon buns until it resembles a long loaf.
Move the dough to a proofing basket, seam side up, and leave to proof for about 1.5 hours at room temperature or overnight/all day (at least 8 hours) in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can leave it to proof on the counter covered with a towel.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F with your baking vessel inside for 30 minutes. Flip the dough into the hot pan, cover, and bake for 20 minutes. Then, turn the oven down to 450 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, remove the cover to your baking vessel and cook for 15 minutes uncovered. (If you are baking in a loaf pan, simply preheat the oven and add your dough to the pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 500 and then for 25 minutes at 450.)
Let cool completely before slicing.
When you slice your bread, you will have a delicious pesto swirl!