It’s easy to overlook garlic. It’s bulbous and overly familiar, that big fat white bulb that’s found pretty much everywhere and in everything. It lends the same old flavor to tomato sauce and chicken alike. Not to mention the odors it leaves on your hands and breath. But not all garlic is alike. The garlic we all know has a smaller, sweeter cousin that’s subtle and fresh called green garlic. This immature garlic has a lot more texture and vegetal crunch than your garden variety garlic. It’s only in season for a short period, offering a taste that’s nothing like supermarket garlic. And there’s no need to be self conscious about the smell or wash your hands a dozen times. Green garlic and garlic scapes both lend a garlicky flavor that’s wholly delicate. It’s the garlic we’ve all been searching for whether you know it or not.
While green garlic looks like a large scallion, garlic scapes are curly, the flowering part of the garlic stalk. (In fact, they look good sitting in a glass jar while waiting to be used.) Their short growing period causes them to be in high demand when they do pop up, and luckily, they’ve been popping up everywhere. You can find them at farmers markets and stores, friend of the casual home cook and Chef alike.
The city’s chefs are finding unique ways to use it, from the green garlic soup at The Vanderbilt in Prospect Heights to roasted Vermont quail with garlic scapes and green garlic aioli at Parish Hall. Smorgas Chef is using it to give mussels and fries a vibrant kick and that’s just the beginning.
If you’re ready to get your garlic on and experiment in the kitchen, head to the farmers markets n Union Square, Grand Army Plaza and Park Slope. If you can’t make it to a market, several Whole Foods Market’s carry green garlic. When you find it, chop the white bulb and the first few inches of green leaves and use it just like you would scallions, green onions, or regular garlic. Try adding them to salads or stir fries. They go with anything and everything. Use them in salsa, omelets and pasta dishes and give your meal a little garlic flair.
283 W. 12th Street
New York, NY 10014
(West 4th street between 7th and 8th Avenues)
109 North 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
570 Vanderbilt Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Union Square Farmers Market
North and West sides of Union Square Park
Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Grand Army Plaza
Prospect Park West & Flatbush Avenue
Northwest Corner of Prospect Park Brooklyn
Open Saturdays, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Park Slope Farmers Market
4th Street off of Fifth Avenue
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM