What is Baby Garlic?

What is Baby GarlicYou’ve probably heard of green onions, but have you ever tried green garlic? Also known as baby garlic, spring garlic, young garlic, and garlic shoots, this luscious springtime treat tastes great with everything you would eat with regular garlic.

What is green garlic?

Baby garlic is immature garlic before it develops into bulbs. It has a much milder and somewhat sweeter flavor than mature garlic, and yet the flavor is rich and complex. Baby garlic is so mild it can be enjoyed raw.

How do I use green garlic?

You can eat green garlic the same way you’d eat mature garlic, but my favorite ways to eat baby garlic is in this Healthy Creamy Italian Salad Dressing.

I also like to sprinkle minced baby garlic over a bowl of slow-cooked beans, mix them in this chickpea salad sandwich, and saute them in this delicious Creamy Spring Soup.

Baby garlic is also good in green salads, pasta salads, in pesto, and on bread.
Growing Baby Garlic

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How much of the green garlic is edible?

While the entire plant (minus the roots) is edible, I only use the white and light green parts as they are most tender. Usually the tops are too fibrous for my taste.

Where do I get green garlic?

While I’ve never seen baby garlic in grocery stores, many farmer’s markets and CSA’s offer fresh green garlic.

Growing Baby Garlic in the Garden

Or you can grow your own! Just plant some cloves of garlic in the fall and come May or June (depending on where you live) you’ll have tender baby garlic shoots. If you don’t have a garden, you can grow garlic in a container.

And then, of course, if you leave a few plants in the soil and wait a month or two longer, your baby garlic will mature into bulbs to harvest and enjoy in your cooking … or save to plant more garlic for next year.

When is green garlic in season?

Green garlic is available from early spring to early summer.  Baby garlic that’s harvested in early spring will be more slender in appearance and milder in flavor than that which is harvested in early summer.

Have you tried baby garlic? How do you like to eat it?

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3 Comments

  1. I’m so intrigued by this post, Jennifer! Every spring/early summer at my parents’ house (they live out in the country), I’ve smelled garlic at the end of their lane. It must be baby garlic! Have you ever harvested it from the wild? My parents don’t spray chemicals on their property, so I’m guessing it would be safe to harvest and eat. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for it when I’m out there this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

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