Green garlic, also called spring garlic, or baby garlic is harvested while it is still in its early stages of life, before it matures into the familiar bulb we all know and love. Green garlic looks remarkably like its cousin the green onion, though you can tell the difference between the two by the slight difference in color near the bulb end and the shape of the leaves. Green garlic sometimes has a tinge of purple near the base. The leaves of green garlic are flat while green onions have tube shaped leaves–not to mention, there is no mistaking the smell of fresh garlic.
The flavor of the young plant falls somewhere on the taste spectrum between the pungent punch of a full grown head of garlic and the milder crispness of a green onion. Trim off the root ends and chop up the white, light green and first bit of dark green leaves. Enjoy it any of the ways you’d use garlic or green onions.
You can cook it in soups, chop it up and use it to season entire dishes, use it to make dips or flavored oils, in stir-frys or omelets, or use it in a salad as a way of eating it raw. Sautéed or grilled green garlic can also stand alone left whole and served as a side dish. It doesn’t need long on the grill or in the pan with butter.
Green garlic can be stored unwashed in the refrigerator for about three to five days. It won’t cure like grown up garlic, so don’t wait too long before using it.