Farmers Market Meals: The Life of Garlic

Every month Cuisine en Locale whips up a special recipe for the Beat focusing on seasonal ingredients. Below you’ll find what’s cooking in May.

garlic-plant-anatomyApril showers brought May flowers, and Cuisine en Locale is particularly excited about a specific family of flowers that’s playing a big role in our ONCE a Week menus: the Amaryllis family. Garlic, this family’s most famous member, is coming into season and offers three distinct products throughout its life cycle. Before the familiar garlic bulb is formed, the plant produces two other edible plant stages: green garlic and garlic scapes.

Garlic is planted in the fall and lives in the frozen ground through the winter. As soon as the ground starts to thaw, the garlic plant begins to grow.

Green garlic is the young plant that closely resembles a scallion. It’s also called young garlic or spring garlic. In May, farmers pull these out to thin their garlic beds because garlic doesn’t like competition. Green garlic can be cooked or used raw as you would cloves of garlic. They provide a potent sweet flavor that’s mellower than mature garlic.

Then in early June comes the garlic scape. Scapes are the curling flowering stalk that grows out of the garlic bulb. They are generally removed early on to focus the plant’s energy into growing the bulb. Not surprisingly, they also taste like garlic, but have a fresh, verdant quality that the bulb lacks.

Green garlic and garlic scapes are both only available for a limited time and in short supply. Our ONCE a Week shares are a great way to try these special crops, but if you’re feeling inspired, here are a few of our favorite preparations for green garlic and garlic scapes.

Garlic scapes

With fresh ingredients, simplicity is key. Brush the whole stalks with oil and grill over a high heat until the garlic becomes tender and develops grill marks.

At Cuisine en Locale, we love to find ways to store seasonal ingredients to use throughout the year. Green garlic and garlic scapes make excellent candidates for freezing. Pulse them in a food processor, store in a Ziploc bag and freeze to enjoy these garlic novelties after their short season ends.

As grilling season is about to get underway, green garlic chimicuri is a great item to keep on hand to top your grilled meats, toss into your potato salad or stir into yogurt to make a tasty dip. Make a big batch while these young garlic stages are in season, use some fresh and freeze the rest for later.

Green Garlic Chimicuri

2 stalks of green garlic or garlic scapes
¼ cup cilantro
3 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sunflower or pumpkin oil
1 teaspoon honey (optional)

In a food processor pulse green garlic, cilantro, parsley, salt and coriander. Then add vinegar and drizzle in oil and if desired, honey. Pulse until mixture is well blended, but not completely smooth. Adjust vinegar, salt and honey to your suit your taste.

Thanks Cuisine en Locale!

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