In Season: Green Garlic


While I’ve been getting ready for season two of the square foot garden, I was able to harvest one last crop from last year that I managed to reap after a long, cold Winter.

During last fall, I decided to try growing green garlic, the quintessential gastronomic sign of early spring.

I broke up a head of garlic into cloves and planted them in one of the squares in the garden. Short green stalks shot up quickly, and then they stopped growing and remained like that for the winter. But, as it started warming up last month, they began growing again. Some of the outer leaves, which had withered and started turning brown, were now joined by new ones that were growing fast.

When I yanked them out of the ground, the long stalks were still attached to the original cloves, which had burst open and could now be peeled off.

Ggpasta What remained looked a lot like scallions, tinged with purple at the white end and perfumed with the smell of garlic. I tasted a bite. While the smell could trick you into thinking you were putting a piece of raw garlic in your mouth, the taste was much, much milder.

I combined the green garlic with butter to make a very simple pasta. Once cooked, the green garlic (surprisingly) tasted nothing like scallions or onions, as I had expected. Rather, they became slightly sweet, like the offspring of garlic and leeks if they mated. I leave it to your imagination to envision what that mating process would look like.

Fresh Pasta With Green Garlic

1 pound fresh pasta
2 tablespoons butter
4-5 stalks green garlic, finely sliced
salt (to taste)
black pepper, freshly ground (to taste)
Parmigiano reggiano, grated (to taste)

1.    Boil water for the pasta.
2.    Melt butter in a sauté pan, being careful not to let it brown, and add the green garlic.
3.    Saute on medium to medium-low heat until the green garlic has softened (but don’t let it brown). Remove from heat.
4.    Cook the pasta. I used cavatelli, which were frozen and required a longer amount of cooking, so I started them before sauteing the green garlic.
5.    When the pasta is cooked, drain it (reserve cooking liquid), and set pasta aside.
6.     Return the saute pan to the range, set to medium to medium-high. When the butter starts to bubble, add about 1/4 cup of the water the pasta cooked in and whisk until the butter and water forms an emulsion. Keep whisking while the butter/water reduces slightly (around a minute).
7.    Add pasta to the pan and toss, adding more water if too dry, and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
8.    Plate and serve the pasta with grated parmigiano reggiano on top.



The green garlic in the photo look very much like ramps. Are they one and the same? I'm confused.


They do look suspiciously similar (and come into season at the same time), though ramps have a fatter bulb and broad, flat leaves. See this pic to compare:

I believe ramps have a more distinct flavor (also more intense). Have to admit I've never tried them myself, but don't tell anyone.


Of course, one can Google ramps if confusion exists. But you will find that the leaves of ramps (called wild leeks in Upstate New York and Vermont) look nothing like those in this photo.

Ramps, in my opinion, are much stronger (and that's not bad) than green garlic. Also, ramps are generally smaller in size than are green garlic leaves.

Both are wonderful, used properly.


Thanks for the photo, info and recipe, Josh.
We are expecting green garlic in our first CSA share of the season here in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and this page was passed along to members.


My father invented a patentable hydroponic growing system which enables our farm to grow green garlic all year around just outside of Houston, TX. We actually sell our plants in all HEB-Central Market stores throughout Texas as well as several of the Whole Foods within our state. We are trying to increase consumer awareness about this special garlic, now that we can grow it the whole year. Our bulb actually is a whole pearl white garlic clove. The hydroponics actually make our chives much greener. And we can grow a full plant in a 13 to 18 day cycle with a 12 to 14 inch chive. Our small family company is called Gourmet Country Farm and our website is if anybody would like to check us out.



I love your product, especially in your pesto recipe but I can't find it at Central Market
all the time, like two days ago.


Christopher Ranch has California green garlic from May-October 2010. We pack both retail and foodservice. Please let your local supermarkets know about this new item.


I like pesto very happy. I am also always in the supermarket. The courts that are unique and they can easily recommend it.


Fantastic recipe! I really like it..
Thanks for sharing..





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