Garlic is planted in the fall before the first frost and starts growing vigorously as soon as the soil begins to warm. Growers thin the crop to make room for the remaining plants to grow into big, beautiful heads that can be harvested later in the summer and stored into the winter. This garlic that is thinned out of the patch in the spring is green garlic—garlic that has not yet matured.
You’ll find green garlic at farmers’ markets and farm stands in late spring/early summer. Green garlic may look unfamiliar, but a good sniff will let you know it’s garlic!
Treat green garlic as you would scallions. Strip off any brown or wilted outer leaves, trim the root end, and use all but the toughest top part of the green leaf. Green garlic is a bit stronger than scallions but milder, fresher, and sweeter than mature garlic. It is a bit sharp when raw, and becomes sweet and more subtle when cooked.
Save the tough green tops to add to stock or a soup (keep a bag of veggie scraps in your freezer for making stock). Remember to remove the leaves before serving your soup!
HOW TO STORE GREEN GARLIC
Green garlic will keep for up to a week in your refrigerator. Wrap it in a clean, damp towel and keep in a plastic bag.
3 WAYS TO PREPARE GREEN GARLIC
- Slice up a stalk or two, sauté in butter until fragrant, then fry or scramble eggs in the same pan with the garlic!
- Grill it! Toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and lay it on a hot grill. A slotted grill pan will help keep them on the grill.
- Pickle it! Pickled green garlic is a wonderful addition to a Green Garlic cheese platter or pickle plate