Although around for a few weeks now, Green Garlic really hit it’s stride last week with lengthy, flowing green tops and a slightly more mature bulb with its flavor well on the way to what one expects from papery, white garlic found at most food stores. The youth and freshness of Green Garlic allows for raw and cooked deployment in a wide variety of dishes, vinaigrettes and sauces.
For cooked dishes use it in abundance like you would onions; sautéed in butter with greens or carrots, post-protein-before-deglazing for pan sauces and as a rack for roast chicken. For can’t miss pasta sauté Green Garlic in extra-virgin olive oil with any one of the following ingredients – toasted pine nuts, shrimp, clams, parsley. For raw dishes, mince it finely and mix into vinaigrettes, creamy dips and, cheesesy smears for crostini or ravioli filling.
To prep the raw goods, trim off the tops of the greens about 3 inches above the beginning of the white bulb. Trim off the root ends and peel off the outer layer of the bulb starting at the green tops.
Recipe: Lamb with Green Garlic
1 pound lamb – chops or small portion of boned out leg
1 ½ tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 big bunch green garlic, white and 3 inches green chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, summer savory or a mix
1 tablespoon aged sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons chicken or lamb stock OR 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1) Salt lamb all over with sea salt, then sauté lamb to medium rare over high heat in oil, finish in oven if a thick piece.
2) Remove lamb from pan to rest and sprinkling with pepper, pour out all but 3 tablespoons of fat, sauté green garlic, herbs, and sea salt over medium till just shy of getting golden. Turn heat down to prevent browning if necessary.
3) Pull garlic from the pan and reserve with lamb. Over low heat ad in the sherry vinegar and stock (or water) and scrape the browned lamb bits from the bottom of the pan.
4) Add back garlic and any lamb jus that has accumulated on the holding plate. Whisk in butter off the heat for added richness.
5) Pour over sliced lamb to plate
Serve with sautéed greens or this Potato-Green Garlic Gratin recipe (scroll down to last recipe) found on SFGate - the online presence of The San Francisco Chronicle, a paper possessing one of the best food sections of any newspaper in our country.