Farmer Chris Olsen, of Milagro Farms from Red Rock, Texas is a regular at the Sustainable Food Center’s farmers markets downtown on Saturdays and at the Triangle on Wednesdays. He brings amazing chicken eggs, and seasonal produce year round. He grows some of the most gorgeous onions I’ve ever seen, and loads of peppers and tomatoes when in season. This time of year, he has something you won’t usually find in stores – green garlic. Green garlic is just immature garlic, much like a Spring onion is an immature onion. The bulbs are not formed into their separate chambers yet, and it is sold fresh, so there is no papery outer covering to wrestle off.
The entire green garlic plant can be eaten (except the roots). The bulbs are garlicky, but not nearly as pungent and sharp as mature garlic. The green stalk is similar to garlic chives, and can be chopped up in just about anything to provide a garlicky componant.
This week I bought several bunches to play with. I’ve only ever used it chopped up as a garlic substitue, and wanted to use it in different ways.
I decided to make a pesto, with the green garlic, parmesan, garden parsley, and pecans. I roughly chopped it all, and gave it a whirl in the mini Cuisinart, with some sea salt, pepper and Texas Olive Ranch Olive Oil.
I make loads of basil pesto with garlic every year and keep lots in my freezer. I’ve never made a pesto with garlic as the star of the show. This was delicious, albeit garlicky. It would be amazing tossed into a big bowl of eggy pasta, or as a light coating on roasted vegetables.
I served it over a Richardson Farms ribeye, and it was really good, although I was fairly heavy-handed with it.
For a more mild flavor, you could roast the garlic before using it. I had planned to roast some to make a garlic aioli, but didn’t get around to it.
Next time you are at the farmer’s market, try something new! It is very easy for me to get stuck in a rut and eat the same thing over and over. I have to remind myself to break out of my routine from time to time.
Update: Last night I roasted some Boggy Creek Farm potatoes, and tossed in about a tablespoon of this pesto for the last 10 minutes of roasting. Delish.