Farm Fresh: Garlic Scape and Swiss Chard Pesto

Boyfriend and I signed up for our first CSA this year. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it is a market system in which people invest money in a farm at the beginning of the season which helps to fund the initial supplies and planting, and then receive shares of the produce throughout the growing season. Today, our first shares came with such wonderful treats as beets, spring onions, Swiss chard, and garlic scapes. Each week, as I open my surprise bag of produce, I’ll be working on a creative way to use it up and will post the results of the experiments in posts labeled “Farm Fresh.”

Our first CSA share! Isn't it beautiful?

Our first CSA share! Isn’t it beautiful?

This week, I was thrilled to see both swiss chard and garlic scapes in the bag. I once had the good fortune to taste Swiss chard and garlic scape pesto, and it was amazing! In my search for ways to fill my new chest freezer, I began searching for the recipe for that pesto. I’ve been waiting since February for the opportunity to try it, and that time is finally here. The original recipe was handed out by the Nutrition Center stand at the local Farmer’s Market two years ago which means that, sadly, I do not know to whom I should give the credit. I’ve made a few minor changes to suit my personal preferences. Boyfriend rates this one 3.5 forks.

Pesto Ingredients

This pesto is relatively mild with a slight tang, perfect on pasta, tossed with steamed vegetables, or spread on a bit of crusty french bread. The addition of Swiss chard and almonds also pump up the nutritional value.

Delicious pesto with sauteed chicken over rice noodles!

Delicious pesto with sauteed chicken over rice noodles!

Ingredients
1/4 Cup roasted almonds, unsalted**
5-7 garlic scapes
1/2 bunch Swiss chard
1/8 Cup lemon juice
1/8 Cup olive oil
1 Cup Parmesan Romano blend or Quattro Formaggio (Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina & Mozzarella)
salt to taste

Clean garlic scapes and Swiss chard. Chop the garlic scapes into smaller pieces and remove the stems from the Swiss chard leaves. Set aside the stems for another use.

Place the garlic scapes into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the Swiss chard leaves to the food processor and process until finely chopped.

Add the lemon juice, olive oil, almonds and salt to the food processor and run for another minute. Add the cheese to the food processor and chop until everything is finely shredded and mixed well.

**Walnuts or pine nuts may be substituted for the almonds.

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