Although green garlic (or spring garlic as it is sometimes called) sounds exciting and exotic, the truth is that it’s just the young version of the garlic that we all know and love. Before your garlic divides itself into separate cloves, is picked and dried and sent off to supermarkets all over the world, it starts out as a green plant, with a stalk, leaves and the garlic scapes. There are a lot of things to love about green garlic, but we want to highlight two of the biggest ones today:
- Green garlic can be used anywhere you’d use regular garlic, but it will impart a slightly less intense, slightly more verdant flavor to whatever you put it into. We often end up using a little more green garlic than we would regular garlic in recipes, but it is also important to note that we really love garlic.
- Our favorite thing about green garlic is that the whole plant is edible, from bulb, to stalk, to leaf, to scape. The higher up you get on the stalk, the woodier it usually gets — once it gets to the point where it would be too tough to chew, cut it off and toss that portion and store it in your freezer with other vegetable scraps to make stock with.
Although green garlic is great in just about everything, we especially love to make recipes that highlight the specific, springy, summery qualities of this onion family member.
Simple ways to cook:
– Use the whole thing! Green Garlic is precious—if you leave it in the ground, it turns into a mature head of garlic, so don’t let any of it go to waste. No need to peel before using (the thicker skin of garlic has not developed yet). Use the bulb and tender stalk in one dish and then save the green parts for the next meal. I chop the green parts finely and toss them into soups, pastas, grain salads, potato salads, etc.
– Use much like a leek or a scallion, green garlic is less intense than mature garlic and is something I look forward to all year long.
– One way to enjoy green garlic in a milder state is to boil it whole until tender and then chop it up and add to any dish.
– Or pound it up in a mortar and pestle or put in your food processor as the basis for an incredible aioli.
– To store well, wrap in damp paper towels and put in plastic bag in the fridge
Spring Tart with Bacon, Leeks, Green Garlic, and Gruyere
Author Notes: Start the crust a couple of hours before you want to eat; it needs some time in the refrigerator and the freezer before it’s baked. Better yet, make it in the morning or the night before so you only have to prepare the filling. You’ll need a 9? tart pan with a removable bottom for this recipe.
Food52 Review: Pinch&Swirl’s tart makes a full, satisfying meal when paired with a vegetable or salad. The crust comes together nicely, with the whole wheat flour adding flavor, and freezing it ensures that it won’t shrink when baked. Even as quiches or savory tarts go, the filling is quite rich and would benefit from some acid (lemon juice or zest) or spring greens mixed in. In step 4, I’d recommend browning the bacon, setting it aside, and draining off all but one tablespoon of fat. Once the leeks and green garlic start to sweat, the bacon never crisps up and stays a little soggy in the finished tart.
- 1cup white whole wheat flour (120 grams)
- 1/2cup unbleached, all-purpose flour (68 grams)
- 1/4teaspoon fine sea salt
- 10tablespoons very cold, unsalted butter (5 ounces, 1 cube plus 2 tablespoons), cut into 10 or 12 pieces
- 1egg, beaten
- 3strips bacon, diced
- 2large leeks (white parts), sliced in half lengthwise, then across into 1/8? strips
- 2tablespoons chopped green garlic
- 1pinch fine sea salt
- 1/2cup sour cream
- 1/2teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
- To make the tart crust, add both flours and salt to the bowl of a food processor; pulse a few times to combine. Sprinkle butter over top and pulse several times until the largest butter pieces you see are a bit larger than a pea. Pour egg over flour mixture and pulse several times, until clumps begin to form. Turn mixture out onto a work surface. Quickly gather the dough together into a ball, knead it just enough so that you can form it into a 6″ disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, transfer the tart dough to a work surface lightly sprinkled with flour. Roll dough into a 12 inch round; lift and turn the dough often to keep it from sticking. Place your rolling pin over one end of the dough round and roll it up. Unroll the dough over a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom, doing your best to center it. Gently press dough on bottom and sides of pan (patch any torn or short areas); trim dough to 1/2 inch overhang. Fold overhang to create a double-thick edge and pierce all over with a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1/2 an hour, preferably longer (see headnote).
- When you’re ready to bake the crust, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim a piece of foil to fit and place on bottom crust. Cover foil with pie weights (whole beans that you don’t plan to cook work well too). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Return crust to oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees; bake 20 minutes more. Remove from oven and set aside. (If your filling is ready, you can pour it right in and bake.)
- For the filling, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; cook and stir until fat begins to render, about 3 minutes. Add leeks, green garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook and stir about 10 minutes more, until leeks and garlic are soft and bacon is cooked through. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, thyme, and pepper. Stir in Gruyere and bacon mixture. Pour into crust and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until set in the center.
- Remove from oven; transfer to serving platter and garnish with thyme sprigs. Slice into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.