Green Garlic

Green garlic is one of the great treats of spring. It looks very much like a green onion, except the green tops are flat instead of tubular. (Dude, did he just say, "tubular"?) Green garlic is simply normal garlic in its young, spring form, again, much like its cousin, the onion, and it tends to be made available in the spring by farmers as they thin their garlic fields to allow the remaining garlic the space to grow and mature in the bulbs of garlic we see in late summer and fall. Now, many farmers plant rows of garlic specifically to harvest it as green garlic, due to its growing popularity.

Green garlic at Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green garlic can be used just like bulb garlic, though its flavor is much milder and sweeter. Use the entire stalk. Just trim the tips of the greens and thoroughly wash them, including under the greens, as dirt can collect there, kinda like with a leek. You can even eat the root hairs, though be sure they are clean, and trim off the point where the roots connect with the immature garlic bulb, as it is impossible to wash the dirt out of there.

Slice it up like you would a green onion and toss it in with sautéed greens. Add them to asparagus, green onions and morels, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them all for ten minutes in a hot oven.

Green garlic has a sweet, slightly grassy flavor that just exudes spring. If you haven't tried it, you don't know the joy of spring you are missing. To quote Oxbow's Luke Woodward, "I eat it with everything this time of year." You'll find it in April, May and June at farms like Alm Hill, Alvarez, Oxbow, Stoney Plains, Summer Run and more.

These green onions at Alvarez look very similar to green garlic, but note how their green stalks are tubular instead of flat. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.