Scallion Garlic Pesto Recipe

Scallion Garlic Pesto

This Scallion Garlic Pesto makes a terrific alternative to the classic Genoese Pesto made with Basil. It is flavorful and just as versatile.

Some years ago, a blogger friend posted a recipe for a Pesto she made using Ramps. I was dying to try it but, to this day, I have yet to see this interesting sounding ingredient in any markets close to me. I was inspired, however, to try something similar using Scallion, buttressed with lots of garlic, and the Pesto you see above was subsequently born. It is a pleasing alternative to the popular Genoese style Pesto made with Basil, and can be used in all the same sorts of ways.

Ingredient Notes

The Recipe Card below calls for two ingredients, Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese, but no specific amounts are provided.

First, the Cheese is a component that you may wish to vary in quantity to suit your taste, or a particular dish. In some cases, I omit the cheese entirely (as I do with Pesto alla Genovese sometimes). This obviously changes the nature of the Pesto considerably, but for certain dishes, this is desirable.

By the way, in the pictures above, the bowl on the left is without cheese, and the right has cheese added.

As for the Olive Oil, the amount required will depend on the consistency you prefer. Just make sure you use a good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil that suits your taste.

The Method

Making a Scallion Garlic Pesto
Making a Scallion Garlic Pesto

The actual preparation is dead easy…. Add the garlic cloves to your food processor along with the salt, pepper, sage and lemon juice and whizz briefly. Now begin adding the scallion and parsley and pulse between additions. Each time, add a little bit of oil to keep the blades turning and mix everything to a smooth paste. Continue adding oil until the mixture is creamy and almost a pouring consistency.

As for the cheese… you can add as much or as little as you like but a ratio of 3 parts scallion mix to 1 part cheese is about right. You will have to add a little more oil to keep the consistency right and there is also one proviso you should keep in mind…

The pesto will keep nicely in the fridge for a few days and if you want to keep it longer you can freeze it as well. If you do freeze, however, do so before adding any cheese. If you want a cheese-added variety, allow the frozen mix to thaw and then add the cheese later (adding a bit more oil as necessary and letting the mix sit to blend the flavors).

Using Scallion Garlic Pesto

Fettucine with Scallion Garlic Pesto
Fettucine with Scallion Garlic Pesto

Basically, you can use this Scallion Garlic Pesto anywhere that you would use a more traditional basil variety. Above, I have used some as a sauce for Fettucine. There is no special way to do this… just stir in a Tablespoon or so for each serving portion after the pasta has been drained and taken from the heat, then serve, along with additional Cheese passed at the table, if desired.

One other use, which is also a typical one for Basil Pesto, is as a topping for Bruschetta, but it makes a nice topping for grilled Steak as well. It can also form the base for more complex sauces and, with the Cheese omitted, is particularly good for sauces for Fish and Shellfish.

Your Recipe Card:

Scallion Garlic Pesto

This Scallion Garlic Pesto makes a terrific alternative to the classic Genoese Pesto made with Basil. It is flavorful and just as versatile.
Course: Condiment, Sauce, Topping
Cuisine: New Creation
Keyword: Garlic, Olive Oil, Scallion, Parmesan Cheese
Author: John Thompson


  • 2 cups chopped scallion green and light green parts only;
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf Parsley;
  • 4 – 5 cloves of Garlic;
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt;
  • 1 pinch ground Black Pepper;
  • 1 pinch dried Sage;
  • 2 tbsp. Lemon juice;
  • Olive Oil as needed;
  • Parmesan Cheese as desired.


  • Add the Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Sage and Lemon Juice to the bowl of a food processor and whiz to pulverize the Garlic.
  • Add Scallion and Parsley a little at a time and pulse, adding Olive Oil a teaspoon or so at a time to keep the processor bladed turning, and repeat until the Scallion and Parsley is all added and the mix has a creamy, almost pourable consistency.
  • Add the cheese in any amount you like (1 part Cheese to 3 parts Scallion mix is a good ratio), and stir in enough oil to keep the consistency.
  • Allow to rest for at least twenty minutes to let the flavors meld.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!