Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Green Garlic

I seem to have a real problem with the Allium family at harvest time: I'm constantly coming across the odd onion I've missed when it comes to autumn digging. This time I've surpassed myself with last year's garlic. I harvested it rather late and consequently had some difficulty in locating the bulbs as their papery leaves were withering away.

I was rather tardy with much of my autumn digging too i.e. a lot of it didn't get done. So last week when I came to clear the plot for some of this year's crops, I found not the odd onion but sixteen of last year's garlic bulbs were waving healthy green bunches of leaves at me. They're never going to grow to form fat garlic bulbs as the cloves are too close together, but green garlic is a rather trendy vegetable to have to hand, so I was rather pleased to harvest this little lot.

Green garlic tastes milder and less bitter than its late summer dried counterpart. It's a cross between garlic and leek to my mind and utterly delicious. You can use most of what's harvested, with just the tougher end of the leaves plus the roots and the papery outside of the bulb end ending up in my compost bin. The pictured spring onion like harvest enhanced the pasta sauce I made on Saturday, the lamb casserole we had on Sunday, plus a quiche I've made ready for when Yolanda gets here on Wednesday. Threadspider took some away with her too as she was up the plot at the time :)

I'm thinking in future years I'll plant my fattest saved cloves for bulb garlic and the smaller ones left over can be planted in a large terracotta pot on the patio for an early harvest of green garlic to tide us over in late spring/early summer when our usual garlic runs out :)

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