The Fresh Garlic or New Garlic, arrives on market stalls with its long green stem and white head often streaked with purple.
This is not a particularly cheap price to pay for a single head of garlic but the flavor of fresh garlic cloves is subtle and vibrant, and a perfect match to the new crop of seasonal vegetables — asparagus, green peas, and baby potatoes.
Fresh Garlic or New Garlic
Different from the 'Aillet' which is a young shoot of garlic whose cloves are not yet formed (similar to spring onions), the new garlic, certainly still immature, has a head comparable to that of dry garlic heads.
Pods contained in the bulb are small, without germ, and are surrounded by tender skin. Like spring vegetables he announces, new garlic is only there for the time of its season, from May to June...
A sweet and unique flavor, delicately rustic
New garlic has a unique flavor. Sweet with a touch of non-spicy power, it is close to that of dry garlic but with magic notes. And no moderation to cook it!
We consume everything!
Fresh garlic, consume everything 99%:
- the green stem (at least a good part),
- the slightly thick and ribbed envelope of the bulb,
- the young pods with milky white,
- and even the small skin surrounding each of these pods.
How to cook new garlic? Without moderation!
The stalk part at the top we slice off, and use as you would a section of leek, sautéed with other vegetables, or in a soup or broth.
Break it open the thick ribbed skin that encloses the cloves, and that part I slice thinly and use as I would an onion. Those two parts can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days before using, or minced and frozen.
When you roast vegetables (zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, leeks, ...), add pods chopped more or less finely. Then associate it with few branches of fresh thyme, they embalm the kitchen. It is also a perfect match for simply fried or woked vegetables.
Whole pods or cut in half, will very pleasantly perfume your roast of beef or chicken.
Whole pods as an aperitif, gently confit them in olive oil with some herbs, or fry them in oil! A treat!!
The smallest pods finely chopped or delicately cut into very small pieces will bring spice to a salad of raw vegetables, raw or quickly fried in olive oil.
The tender skin around the garlic pods, turn them into a rather delicious cream of garlic.
To do this, bring water to a simmer in a small pan, throw in the membranes, and drain them as soon as the water comes back to a simmer. Let the membranes cool and drain for an hour or so, then process them with half their weight in good olive oil (i.e. weigh the amount of drained garlic membranes, divide that weight by two, and measure that weight in olive oil), and salt to taste.
This produces a surprisingly butter-colored, mayonnaise-like spread that is quite handy to keep in the door of the fridge: you can add it to vinaigrettes and other salad dressings, blend it into a stir-fry of vegetables as a finishing touch, or dollop it onto a piece of fish or meat. It also works splendidly on canapés and other crostini, on its own or to support other ingredients.
- Whole heads with their green last about a week away from light.
- The garlic green, once washed, can be kept in the fridge like fresh herbs on a sheet of absorbent paper in an airtight box.
- Young pods can keep themselves in the refrigerator for a few days in a small glass jar.
- Another way to enjoy the sweet and unique flavor of fresh garlic all year round is to freeze the young cloves!