Did you know that …
Green garlic is more than a mere prelude to the summer garlic harvest? Green garlic actually is a healthful, flavorful delicacy in and of itself.
According to Health Benefits Times, a website dedicated to healthful eating, green garlic is essentially an immature garlic bulb. It is harvested in early spring before scapes form on the garlic stems and before the stems begin to dry up, indicating that the bulbs growing in the ground are ready to be harvested. Unlike the conventional garlic bulbs, green garlic usually is not a cluster of cloves but rather one single bulb that resembles a scallion or green onion. It tastes moderately garlicky, and sweetens as it cooks. Both the bulb and the green stalk can be eaten.
Green garlic is known for boosting the immune system because it contains a sulphur compound known as allicin. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-biotic properties, is rich in iron, and includes such heart-healthy nutrients and minerals as polysulfide and manganese.
When you see green garlic at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, get it fast and use it within a week. It is a short seasonal crop that tastes best immediately fresh.
Not sure what to do with it? Try it in this delectable spaghetti sauce that Friends of the Market volunteer and nutritionist Pattie Garrett adapted from Serious Eats and Alice Waters. Most of the ingredients for the dish were obtained at the market from the following vendors:
• Pancetta, olive oil and cheese from Dancing Ewe Farm.
• Green garlic from Denison Farm.
• Parsley from Malta Ridge Orchard and Gardens.
Spaghetti with Green Garlic
• 4 ounces pancetta
• 1 pound of spaghetti
• 1/3 cup Olive Oil
• 3 heads green garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1. Cut pancetta into small ¼ inch pieces. Cook in medium skillet until crispy and set aside.
2. Bring large pot of water to boil and add spaghetti. Cook until al dente, reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water before draining.
3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimming. Add garlic parsley, and ¼ cup of water. Cover and sweat, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add more water if necessary to keep the garlic from caramelizing too much.
4. Add cooked pasta and pancetta to the garlic mixture and toss well to combine. Add some pasta cooking water if necessary to bring the dish to a creamy consistency. Serve with more olive and grated cheese.