by Malcolm Jolley
Kathleen Mackintosh, owner of Culinarium and Ontario Locavore supreme, once explained to me that garlic was the most giving seasonal crop: first green garlic in the spring, then scapes in early summer and finally bulbs late in the season to last (we hope) the rest of the year. So, the cycle has begun again, and Ontario green garlic is available at farmers’ markets and specialty stores, where it is commonly sold in bunches of long stalks. Also known as young garlic, or spring garlic, green garlic’s flavour is not as concentrated as the its older version, turned into bulbs and cloves. The vegetable looks like a scallion or a leek, and can be used in similar ways.
A simple pasta dish may be concocted by sauteing green garlic in olive oil with another seasonal spring vegetable like asparagus, or dandelion leaves. Or a deliciously subtle salad dressing of slices of geen garlic left to marinade in oil for a few hours, brightened with a dash of vinegar or lemon juice compliments the first lettuces and leafy greens from Ontario’s farmers markets.