Philacatessen | Green Garlic, Spring’s Latest Gift


I am a huge fan of the flavor of garlic in foods. It is a rare recipe of mine (barring dessert) that does not begin with “heat oil and garlic.”

For example, I recently enjoyed playing around with garlic scapes for a delightful spring risotto.

Today’s post features green garlic, my latest spring discovery at the farmers market.

At a glance, these stalks look more or less like scallions with rounder bulbs at the bottom. What they are, in fact, is the youthful version of a garlic pod. They have a milder garlic flavor, so are ideal for raw dishes like salads, dressings and uncooked sauces. Like the scallion, both the bulbs and stems can be eaten.

We had planned a Mexican-spiced flank steak for dinner, and were scouting around for an interesting sauce. Green garlic came to the rescue, playing a starring role in my chimichurri.

This tangy, green sauce figures prominently in Argentinian cuisine, where grilled meats are king. If you can’t get your hands on green garlic, you can substitute a clove or two of regular garlic.

Chimichurri keeps for a few days in the fridge, so consider making a double batch and using it on fish, chicken or vegetables later in the week. It can also be diluted with additional olive oil and used as a salad dressing, or mixed with yogurt, sour cream or mayonnaise for a spectacular dip or condiment.

Green Garlic Chimichurri

Makes about ¾ cup sauce

1 green garlic bulb, plus 2 inches stalk

½ cup fresh parsley, rinsed

½ cup fresh cilantro, rinsed

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup white wine vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)

Place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree.


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