Green garlic, also known as spring garlic or young garlic is such a treat. Here are 10 easy green garlic recipes that celebrate the warmer weather.
If you visit farmer’s markets you know that spring is such an exciting time.
Not only do asparagus, brussels sprouts and wild ramps begin to make an appearance but so do green garlic.
Green garlic is simply garlic early in the season. Farmers will plant a lot of garlic understanding a harsh winter or late frost could impact harvest.
But if all goes well they have an overabundance of spring garlic. To avoid overcrowding, fields need to be thinned out to make room for the mature garlic as it continues to grow.
And as farmer’s are the the original zero waste proponents, they started selling this discarded plant. Soon people started to realize the delicate green garlic flavour was delicious.
But we didn’t discover any of this, for centuries green garlic has been used in China, South East Asia and India.
We’re a little late to the game. But now green garlic is so popular you may have to ask around.
You won’t find this spring garlic at big supermarkets. But you may find them at an Asian grocery store or you’ll need to go to a farmer’s market or ask someone who is an avid gardener.
Sometimes they are also called garlic scallions. Look for green garlic that has a fresh bulb like a scallion, instead of a dried out bulb with cloves.
Green garlic may also be called:
- garlic flowers
- garlic greens
- garlic shoots
- garlic spears
- garlic tops
- serpent garlic
- spring baby garlic
- spring garlic
- young garlic
Difference Between Spring Garlic and Spring Onion
Green garlic (above) looks very similar to green onion aka spring onion aka scallions.
Don’t worry. They are fairly simple to differentiate.
Sure green garlic smells like garlic and green onion smells like onion. But maybe you aren’t confident with your smelling skills.
If you think garlic and onion smell similarly don’t stress.
Green onions, which we use all year long have tubular stalks. Whereas green garlic has flat stalks, like leeks. Have. a look at the photo above.
Difference Between Green Garlic and Garlic Scapes
So much easier to differentiate BUT a lot of people call incorrectly call the plant green garlic, when they really mean garlic scapes.
They are the same plant, but they are two different periods in its growing season.
Green garlic is the immature garlic bulb and has a delicate spring flavour. It is expensive in farm markets because farmers are giving up the opportunity to sell the mature plant.
Green garlic season is early spring.
Garlic scapes are the greens on top of a mature plant. It has a much stronger flavour. The stalks are round, firm and begin to curl.
They are cut from the bulb so the plant can focus all its energy on growing the bulb. You’ll see them later in the summer.
They become more hardy as the season progresses but they have plenty of great uses.
Green Garlic Season
Green garlic season typical begins when you start seeing spring flowers.
Generally a month into spring so that could be March if you live in a warm climate or May/June in cooler regions.
My mother planted garlic bulbs behind her tulips and they both started growing at the same time.
How to Store Green Garlic
Store green garlic in the fridge. Add an inch of water to a glass and set them in it. You can also place them in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag.
Green garlic lasts about a week in the fridge. Make sure to check the water level in the glass every few days as the roots will continue to soak it up.