We only have Green Garlic a couple of weeks in the Spring. This is one of those weeks. If you like Ramps or Garlic Scapes, you’re likely to LOVE Green Garlic.
Although green garlic (or spring garlic as it is sometimes called) sounds exciting and exotic, the truth is that it’s just the young version of the garlic that we all know and love. Before divides itself into separate cloves, is pulled and dried, it starts out as a green plant, with a stalk, leaves and the garlic scapes. There are a lot of things to love about green garlic, but we want to highlight two of the biggest ones :
- Green garlic can be used anywhere you’d use regular garlic, but it will impart a slightly less intense, slightly more verdant flavor to whatever you put it into. We often end up using a little more green garlic than we would regular garlic in recipes, but it is also important to note that we really love garlic.
- Our favorite thing about green garlic is that the whole plant is edible, from bulb, to stalk, to leaf, to scape. The higher up you get on the stalk, the woodier it usually gets — once it gets to the point where it would be too tough to chew, cut it off and toss that portion and store it in your freezer with other vegetable scraps to make stock with.
Although green garlic is great in just about everything, we especially love to make recipes that highlight the specific, springy, summery qualities of this onion family member.
Simple ways to cook:
– Use the whole thing! Green Garlic is precious—if left in the ground, it turns into a mature head of garlic, so don’t let any of it go to waste. No need to peel before using (the thicker skin of garlic has not developed yet). Use the bulb and tender stalk in one dish and then save the green parts for the next meal. Chop the green parts finely and toss them into soups, pastas, grain salads, potato salads, etc.
– Use much like a leek or a scallion, green garlic is less intense than mature garlic and is something garlic fans look forward to all year long.
– One way to enjoy green garlic in a milder state is to boil it whole until tender and then chop it up and add to any dish. (Oh, I sure hope you don’t do this!)
– Or pound it up in a mortar and pestle or put in your food processor as the basis for an incredible aioli or pesto
We are indebted to Transplanting Traditions for most of this post