Lots of parties in the summertime! Pair fresh goat cheese with summer produce for a quick, tasty appetizer to bring to a barbecue or garden soirée. If you have a garden or a friend with a garden, or go to your local farmers' market, you are probably seeing a lot of garlic scapes lately. A scape is the top, or stem, of the garlic plant. They are curly and whimsical!
There were tons of scapes at our market (http://www.delmarmarket.org/) last week, and they will probably be there again tomorrow. Combined with spinach, arugula, or a leafy green herb, like basil or parsley, garlic scapes make wonderful pesto. You can see my arugula hiding beneath the scapes there.
For the pesto, fill the bowl of a food processor with a bunch of scapes and your greens. Add some good olive oil and process for about a minute, until it all begins to come together. Then, add a scant cup of toasted nuts or seeds. If you are a literalist, you should use pine nuts. If you can't afford them, pumpkin seeds work nicely, as do almonds or walnuts. Save a handful for a garnish! Process until a sort of paste forms. Be sure to leave some chunky bits in there; texture is good!
Then, spread four ounces or so of good fresh goat cheese on the bottom of a dish. I used this pie plate because it's glass, but you probably have something prettier, don't you!
Spread the pesto on top of the goat cheese, just enough to cover. Those garlic scapes are pungent, and you don't want to overwhelm! Then, sprinkle the toasted nuts on top. Voilá! Grab some crackers and head out. Don't worry if you're fashionably late; it's summer, and you have goat cheese. Have fun!