Cooking with Green Garlic

| 4/30/2009 1:48:10 PM


Culinary herbalist, cookbook author, writer and food photographer, Pat Crocker is passionate about food and herbs. Visit her at

Anyone who has ever grown garlic knows how delicious the green tops are in spring salads and perhaps have even tossed a handful into a soup stock. With their heady garlic scent and bright green goodness, these edible green grasses are just the thing for winter weary palates.

I always marvel at the thoughtfulness of nature. Just when my supply of homegrown garlic cloves has dwindled to nothing or sprouted into thin air, along comes the green garlic tops to keep my lighter spring recipes singing with the flavor of fresh garlic.


For me, the green tops have always been a wonderful passing thing like asparagus or fiddleheads: here for a short while, but gone for another year once the plant moves on through its life cycle. But my friend Simon [that's his hand harvesting the tops for me to take home] grows organic garlic and he dries the green crop so that he can enjoy the garlic essence and nutritional benefit all winter. If you have a food drier, you can do the same. I will add the powdered green garlic he gave me into soups, sauces and dishes like mashed potatoes. How easy it will be to have the fabulous garlic taste ready to scoop out and sprinkle over vegetable purées and melt into cream sauce or even to use at the table as a condiment.