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Monday, April 9, 2012

Your Seasonal Produce Guide: Green Garlic

Posted By on Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 9:00 AM

  • JD Crayne

Bulb garlic is harvested during the hot summer months. Green garlic is the same plant, only picked in the spring, before the the cloves are formed. The green and white shoots, with hints of purple can easily be mistaken for scallions or baby leeks. The distinct fresh garlic flavor is milder than mature garlic and becomes sweeter when cooked.

Green garlic can be found at farmers' markets and on seasonal menus at the first signs of spring, as early as late February in San Francisco. Recently we've spotted green garlic in pasta dishes at flour + water and on the spring tasting menu at Sons & Daughters.

How do I buy it? The stalks should be firm and dry. Avoid bunches with wilted greens or slimy roots. Store refrigerated for five to seven days. How do I eat it? Trim the root and remove tough outer leaves. Slice or chop the white, light green, and tender dark green parts. Toss into scrambled eggs, use as a replacement for garlic in aioli and pesto, or whip into goat cheese to spread on fresh bread or crackers. To keep the flavor of spring alive through the summer months, prepare a compound butter using green garlic. Finely chop one bunch of green garlic. Incorporate into 1/2 pound of softened, unsalted butter using a mixer, food processor or rubber spatula. Add salt to taste. Transfer to wax paper and roll into a tube shape. Twist the ends to close. Store in fridge or freezer for later use. Once hardened, cut slices to use for sauteing vegetables or to melt over corn or grilled steaks.

Marla Simon is a chef instructor, food stylist, and food writer.
Follow her on twitter at @Marla_Simon
Follow us at: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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