Baby Green Garlic
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Baby green garlic is harvested prior to its maturity. Each individual garlic has a green stalk with a small, translucent white bulb. Baby green garlic has a bright, fresh grassy garlic flavor that is sweeter than mature garlic, though still quite pungent, especially raw. Cooking can mellow and add depth to its flavor.
Baby green garlic is available from late winter through early spring.
Garlic has one of the largest genomes of all cultivated plants. Botanically named Allium Sativum, garlic is a member of the lily family along with chives, shallots and onions. Garlic is the common name dedicated to hundreds of varieties which can be classified as hardneck and softneck types. Of these types, softneck varieties are most commonly grown as they easier to grow, less particular about growing conditions, slower to bolt and generally produce more cloves per bulb. They are the supermarket varieties that people simply know as garlic. Green garlic can be both hardneck and softneck types, though there are distinct variation is size, bulb colorings and flavor.
All varieties of garlic possess antibiotic properties to some forms of bacteria, viruses and intestinal parasites. Plants in the garlic family lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and may also be used a diuretic, an anti-inflammatory agent, an expectorant or a decongestant.
Green garlic is entirely edible, though the tops are often trimmed if too fiberous or woody. Pair green garlic with similar fresh, spring vegetables such as asparagus, morels, green herbs, peas, leeks and fiddlehead ferns. Braise or saute whole as a vegetable or use in pestos and sauces. Baby green garlic pairs well with seafood, pasta, eggs, lamb and potatoes.
Garlic is native to Central Asia. Garlic's evolution began with sexually reproduced plants, continued with sterile plants and incomplete bolting and ended with non-bolting "genotypes". Primitive garlic had more cold-hardiness, heat tolerance, larger numbers of foliage, and a later maturity stage than that of modern sterile varieties. Cultivated domestic garlic matures in about nine months. Green garlic was created out of necessity as a secondary crop for farmers. It is pruned from the soil in the Spring to make room for the mature garlic to grow.
Recipes that include Baby Green Garlic. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Orangette||Spinach and Green Garlic Soup|
|Tarladalal||Green Garlic-Horseradish Flan|
|Umami Girl||Chard and Garlic Greens Frittata|
|Chez Us||Grilled Cheese with Green Garlic Butter, Tomatoes and Avocado|
|A Thought for Food||Spring Garlic Pancakes|