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Cooking with Green Garlic

Green garlic looks like scallions, but their scent gives them away.

Green garlic looks like scallions, but their scent gives them away.

  • Green garlic looks like scallions, but their scent gives them away.
  • My first batch of green garlic: cooking down in olive oil.
  • The rest of my green garlic sample will become a chimichurri sauce.

By Jennifer Armentrout, editor

May 4th, 2010

Last week, Christopher Ranch sent me a sample of green garlic—young garlic that's harvested before the garlic bulb develops underground. From a distance, green garlic looks just like scallions, but get a little closer and there's no mistaking that familiar garlic scent. I took the fragrant bundle home, thinking that a riff on aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and olive oil) would be a great way to get to know green garlic.

Spices and herbs Simmering brine
When a sample comes in the mail, the wheels start turning. What to make?
  Green garlic is easy to prep and can be used in just about any recipe where you'd use mature garlic.

As I julienned the green garlic, I was surprised by how much the texture reminded me of raw leeks. I cooked the green garlic in plenty of oil until wilted and a little browned, then tossed it with thin spaghetti. The flavor was nicely garlicky without being too pungent.

Green garlic is usually only a spring treat, available early in the growing season as farmers thin their garlic crops. This year Christopher Ranch has designated acreage specifically for green garlic, so it'll be available through October. If you see some at your market, give it a try. You can use it in just about any dish where garlic is at home. The last few green garlic shoots that remain in my fridge are destined for a chimichurri sauce (thanks to a recipe by Steven Raichlen).

My take on aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and olive oil).   FC contributor Steven Raichlen's recipe for Chimichurri sauce. Enjoy!

If you cook with green garlic, post a comment here to let me know what you made, or if you've got a recipe and a photo, I'd love to see it.


posted in: Blogs, garlic, green garlic
Comments (2)

Salish1924 writes: I took a chinese cooking course from a Hilary Miller in Oakland, CA many, many years ago. I never forgot the lessons or taste of the food. All my original recipes are encased in plastic and are used every month. By chance is this the same Hilary Miller from years ago? Posted: 6:59 pm on April 6th

hillmill writes: I get green garlic at the farmers'market. It is wonderful and I look forward every year for the April-May arrival of green garlic. It is wonderful in delicate soups, chinese stir fry( use two to three whole cloves minced per dish) and in salads. I now have two other wonderful recipes to add my collection.

Hilary Miller Posted: 12:27 pm on May 5th

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