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Ingredient

Green Garlic

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A.K.A

spring garlic or baby garlic.

What is it?

When garlic (Allium sativum) is harvested before its bulb develops individual cloves, it’s called green garlic. Think of it as a sweeter, more subtly aromatic, and delicately flavored alternative to mature garlic.

Farmers have always picked green garlic as a way to thin the crop, but now it’s grown increasingly popular as its own crop, available from March through May. Green garlic’s slender stalks are about a foot long and lead to a small white bulb that is sometimes streaked with purple; the bulb itself resembles that of a spring onion or fat scallion.

Use the entire plant as you would regular garlic to add fresh, herbal garlic notes to your favorite soups, salads, and sautés. Green garlic can be cooked or eaten raw. Add thinly sliced and lightly sautéed green garlic to mashed potatoes, gratins, stir-fries, scrambled eggs and omelets, and pasta dishes. Use it as an aromatic base for soup, steamed mussels and clams, or shrimp sautés. Try it in a vinaigrette or blend it into aïoli. For a delicious take on pesto, purée green garlic with fresh basil, pine nuts, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. You can also use green garlic as a substitute for scallions.

How to choose:

Green garlic should have a pleasant garlic aroma, lush, bright-green leaves, and a white or purple-hued bulb end. Avoid plants with dried ends or soggy leaves, as well as larger, pungent-smelling plants (they’re often
tough).

How to prep:

Trim green garlic as you would a leek: Remove the root end of the bulb and any tough dark-green leaves. (Reserve discarded leaves for stews and sauces; they can be tossed in whole, like a bay
leaf, for flavor.)

How to store:

When storing, treat green garlic as you would an herb: Wrap it in a damp paper towel, put it in a sealed plastic bag, and refrigerate it for up to five days.

    Recipes

  • Recipe

    Steamed New Potatoes with Green Garlic

    Green garlic is young garlic that hasn't had a chance to fully expand and grow its bulb into cloves. It gives us a bright, redolent yet mild expression of garlic…

  • Recipe

    Spaghetti with Green Garlic and Olive Oil

    In this riff on the classic spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and olive oil), green garlic replaces the traditional pungent cloves and lends a more delicate garlic flavor.

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