Garlic is a popular ingredient in a variety of recipes. With its mildly hot and pungent flavour, some people like it more than others. While some people prefer only a hint of garlic, others can happily eat it raw. Regardless, garlic is highly touted as a super food, with its many chemical properties being hailed as health heroes. Since we have both fresh green garlic and garlic scapes (garlic what?) available this week, we thought it was best to explain a little about the two vegetable delights.
More and more people are starting to learn about less common fruits and vegetables not typically
found in grocery stores. For example, tropical fruits like Dragon fruit or Blood oranges are
beginning to be more common, especially in larger cities. Similarly, locally grown heritage
varieties of vegetables such as purple carrots are also becoming more available to the general
public. As more people turn to buying their produce from local organic farmers, we are
beginning to see that there are more delicious and unique foods than could previously be
imagined! The garlic scape is just one such example.
The scape on a garlic plant is a long leafless stem that holds the garlic flower pod. As the plant grows, the scape begins to curl, which signals that it is time to be removed. This usually occurs in July. It is helpful to remove the scape so the plant can direct more energy into developing the garlic bulb underground, allowing it to mature to a better size. Garlic scapes are quite versatile and can be eaten raw, or cooked in many recipes, including pesto, soups, stir-fry and more. They can be used in place of garlic cloves, but more liberally as they have a milder flavour than garlic. We have included a link to a couple of recipes below or you can use your creativity to experiment on your own.
Fresh green garlic
The type of garlic that is generally available for sale in stores or farmers markets has already been dried or cured. Curing garlic is important so that it can be stored for long periods of time. Cured garlic can last well through the winter, and possibly even as far as the next harvest season. Garlic crops are often picked through August, but garlic takes about three weeks to dry, so you may not see it for sale until late August or September. As garlic becomes a more popular crop for farmers and shoppers alike, green garlic may also be found.
We offer green garlic this week as a substitution option with our Local Harvest Box, as well as
individually from our catalogue. Since this garlic is fresh and has a higher water content, it must
be stored in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness. Use green garlic as you would in any recipe
you would use dried garlic.
We have included a link to a couple of recipes below for you or you can use your own creativity and
experiment. We hope you find garlic scapes and green garlic a delicious addition to your seasonal culinary repertoire.