Valley Bounty: Green Garlic

Green garlic is young, fresh garlic, planted in the fall and harvested in the spring before the bulb is fully formed. Green garlic stalks look a bit like scallions or green onions, but unlike either of those the former has a distinctly garlicy smell and taste. Green garlic is not the same thing as garlic scapes, which are the curly flowering stalks of mature garlic bulbs and are typically available later in the season. Green garlic can be swapped out for regular garlic in most recipes, bringing a slightly milder, brighter, and fresher garlic flavor.

I think the recipes that best highlight green garlic’s strengths are ones that preserve its characteristic scallion-y freshness — so rather than stewing or roasting it, I prefer to chop it up raw in salads and salsas (where it can pull double-duty for garlic and scallions), or lightly sauté it to add to eggs or stir-fry. You can make a quick and refreshing springtime pasta sauce by sautéing chopped green garlic in olive oil or butter, adding in parsley, red pepper, and a splash of water and/or white wine (just enough to get the consistency right), then tossing with your favorite pasta.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)