A sure sign of spring at local farmers markets is the appearance of green garlic. It arrives in late winter, but it is a sign of what’s to come: spring meals resplendent with fresh green peas, spring lamb, mushrooms, radishes and asparagus.

Hard garlic bulbs come into season in June and July. At that point, the bulbs are dry and look like what we typically use the rest of the year (they are stored in dry, ventilated rooms by the farmers). But to get to that point, garlic begins much earlier in the year as a green stalk that is similar in appearance to a leek or a spring onion. As the year goes on, the end portion becomes more bulbous until it starts to harden and dry out.

While green garlic can be used in any recipe calling for garlic, it has a subtle flavor that is unique from dry garlic. When I particularly want to highlight the flavor of green garlic, I make egg dishes, risottos, or simple meat dishes with gads of the herb.

Fellow bloggers also enjoy green garlic and have published recipes:

Pim suggests shrimp stir-fry with green garlic
Brett likes his green garlic in a Spanish tortilla with white beans
Catherine has a cabbage and green garlic soup recipe for us
And Laura Rebecca brings us a green garlic pesto

You can find green garlic at most local farmers markets. I have never seen green garlic in a traditional supermarket. Farms I know that carry green garlic include:

Eatwell Farm (Ferry Plaza Farmers Market)
Knoll Farm (Ferry Plaza Farmers Market)
Marin Roots Farm (Ferry Plaza, Marin Farmers Markets)
Phan Farm (Heart of the City Farmers Market)

Green Garlic: A Sign of Spring 11 March,2008Jennifer Maiser


Jennifer Maiser

“My passion for food began young.”

I am the editor of the influential website www.EatLocalChallenge.com which encourages readers to support local farmers and producers.

I began my personal website, Life Begins at 30, in 2003.

I have been published in Edible San Francisco and Fine Cooking, write regularly for Bay Area Bites, Serious Eats, and have been quoted in many nationwide publications. Photography is a passion, and I have had photos printed in National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure.

I contributed to a Williams-Sonoma cookbook: Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, which was released in February 2010.

I live in San Francisco, California and can often be found at local farmers markets seeking out the best of what’s in season and chatting with farmers.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor