Thursday, February 11, 2010

Learning: Green Garlic

On my most recent cooking marathon, I ended up using LOTS of garlic. I mean LOTS. One of the heads of garlic was starting to sprout. The cloves looked like this:

That left me wondering if it was ok to use or if I needed to trash it. I found out that you can indeed use these green cloves, but the green part might be a little bitter. So if you're in a pinch (ie; this is all the garlic you have and it's this or nothing), go ahead and use it. But if you have other garlic on hand, you're probably better off to send it to the garbage can.

One other thing I discovered is that you can plant this green/sprouting garlic. Plant them about 3 or 4 inches deep and about 6-8" apart. Bury the clove (not the whole head!) with the pointy side up and the paper on. It's best to plant garlic in the fall - at least 6 weeks before the first freeze. If you're like me and live in a relatively warm, humid climate, you can plant in January or February and harvest in the summer. (you can plant it any time of the year, really, but if not done in fall/winter you can expect smaller bulbs)

Garlic likes full sun and at least 1" of water at least once a week. When the garlic tops turn yellow (at least 50% yellow) or start to tip over, that means it's ready to be harvested!! You should always store garlic at room temperature!

Personally, I plan on trying this out! I've got nothing to lose and lots of free garlic to gain!!

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