Green Garlic- the tender, vibrant, hassle free treat of springtime
I have been working in the food industry for 12 years now, cooking by the seasons and each time green garlic comes into the kitchen, I appreciate it a little bit more. It may be a preemptive harvest of a universally utilized ingredient, but it is the ingredient that announces the peak of springtime. More tender and sweet than your customary garlic and prepared without any of the hassle of peeling, green garlic has many merits and right now is its time.
You may have passed green garlic by, never noticing it, mistaking it for a scallion or puny leek. It can be used just like garlic bulbs, sautéed in oil to begin any dish or added raw to a pesto. It shines with fresh cheeses like ricotta in a frittata or a quiche and elevates the other ingredients of spring. Cook it with asparagus, nettles, fava beans, fresh peas or add it to a salad dressing to toss with a fresh strawberries, arugula and chevre. Enjoy the tender crop and know that spring is in full swing.
Green Garlic Pesto
1 cup finely chopped green garlic
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
¼ cup toasted walnuts
¾ cups good olive oil
Juice from one lemon
¼ cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano
In a blender, combine green garlic, parsley walnuts and parmesan. Press down on the herbs to compress them and submerge them in olive oil. Blend until smooth, if the mixture is too dense, add a splash of water so it blends well. Add salt, walnuts and lemon juice, continue to blend for 30 more seconds and taste for seasoning. Serve on toasted sourdough bread with fresh ricotta, on pasta with sautéed asparagus and artichoke hearts, spread it on a grilled cheese sandwich, spoon it over burrata with fresh peas and mint and savor the first bites of spring.