It’s Green Garlic Season
Referred to as “new garlic” or “spring garlic,” green garlic is the versatile young shoot of the garlic plant that, if left to mature, will become the garlic bulbs we’re all familiar with.
Normally, when garlic is grown, it is harvested in the middle of the summer, when the lower part of the stalk becomes visible above the ground and turns brown. Green garlic, on the other hand, is harvested in the spring, before the plant has matured and the light-purple bulb resembles that of a green onion.
Green garlic has a much milder taste compared to matured cloves and it provides a fresh twist in any recipe that calls for garlic. When buying green garlic, select sturdy stalks that do not appear wilted. Store green garlic in the refrigerator for up to three to five days and use stem and bulb to add gentle flavor to sautés, soups, and stir-fries. Green garlic can also be eaten raw and used in salads or sandwiches.
Perhaps the coolest thing about green garlic, though, is the fact that you can eat the entire thing, from it’s long leaves to it tiny root system. The younger the garlic the more tender it will be, and you’ll know true baby garlic by its nearly complete lack of a bulgy, bulb-y end. As the season progresses week by week, you’ll notice that green garlic at your local farmers market will get thicker and thicker towards the bulb-end, until it looks almost like a fully matured bulb of garlic with a long, green stalk. At this point you can still eat the entire thing, though the fibrous membrane that separates the individual cloves will have begun to form by this stage in its development. The cloves will have a strong, more traditional garlic flavor as they mature as well.
Raw Green Garlic Uses: mince and add to salads, pound into a paste to make green garlic aioli, use in salad dressings, sprinkle onto any creation using bread or noodles with cheese
Cooked Green Garlic Uses: Poach the last 4″ of the tips and dress with a mustard vinaigrette, dice and saute the tender portions and add to an omelet or frittata, chop and add to stir frys, chop and add to soup.
Check out the post for our Spring Leek & Green Garlic Soup
More GREAT Green Garlic Recipes…. Enjoy them while you can the season for Green Garlic is very limited. Once they are gone, you have to wait another year to enjoy these treasures.
Green Garlic Pesto Pasta
6 green garlic shoots, trimmed of the dark green tips and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons kosher salt
6 cups water
2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1. To the food processor, add green garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, sea salt and pepper. Pulse 10-15 times, until ingredients are relatively well-blended, scraping down the sides in the middle of blending. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and continue blending until you get a well-combined pesto texture. Scoop into a bowl and set aside while the pasta cooks to let the flavors meld.
2. Add kosher salt to water and bring to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and rinse pasta. Spoon pesto over hot penne pasta and serve immediately.
- 2 whole eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon or a little less dijon mustard
- 4 stalks green garlic, cleaned as you would leeks, white and pale green parts chopped roughly
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice or rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons more rice or white wine vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups corn or other vegetable oil
Whirl all ingredients except oil in food processor with the metal blade. With machine running, add oil in thin steady stream through opening until all oil is completely incorporated. If the food pusher has that little hole, use it by pouring the oil into that, it works great.
Braised Chicken with Green Garlic
(from Weir Cooking in the City by Joanne Weir)
1 large chicken (about 4 pounds)
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
S and P
1 cup water
3-5 stalks green garlic, trimmed and cleaned as you would a leek, and chopped
1 1/4 cups white wine or apple cider
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
Remove the wings from the chicken and discard. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces, each breast half cut crosswise into 2 pieces, 2 thighs, and 2 drumsticks.
Melt the butter in the olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken, season with S and P, and cook until golden brown on one side, 6-8 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces and cook unti lgolden brown on the second side, another 6-8 minutes. Transfer chicken to aplatter; cover with foil, and keep warm. Pour the excess fat from the pan and discard.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the water and garlic, and cook until the garlic is soft and the water has almost evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add more water during cooking if necessary. Puree in a blender on high speed until very smooth; reserve.
Return the chicken to the pan and increase the heat to high. Add the white wine, chicken stock, and garlic paste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover , and simmer until the chicken can be easily skewered, 20-25 minutes. Season with S & P.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover with foil. Over high heat, reduce the sauce until slightly thickened. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve. Serves 6.