The lack of available fruits and vegetables during certain seasons does not affect me at all. Eating in-seasons means that I have to change what I eat; this introduces a variety to my meals that is very welcome. Thanks to the farmers in Holland Marsh protected by Ontario’s Greenbelt, I never have to worry about buying onions, carrots and many other root vegetables during the winter months because I always find these vegetables on sale from local producers. Did you know that in Ontario’s protected Greenbelt, enough carrots are grown in the Holland Marsh to provide every man, woman and child in Canada with 4 pounds of carrots every year?
However, I never seem to be able to have enough local garlic in my pantry during the winter months! Since winter is always the time for hardier meals, this usually means more recipes that use onions, garlic and carrots or other root vegetables. My local garlic reserves were depleted many weeks ago, and as a result I have been forced to use less than ideal garlic in the many recipes that I make. Imagine my surprise when I saw fresh local green garlic available for sale at my local farm. I had to buy a bunch, even though I had never heard of green garlic before!
Green garlic is garlic in the stage before the bulb develops into the delicious and pungent bulb we know and love, and it’s also the stage before the garlic starts to sprout the scapes. It resembles green onions, but the taste is distinctly garlic - just not as sharp a garlic flavour as the bulb.
Since I had never used green garlic before I was unsure what to do with it and I don’t want to just eat it raw. I decided to slightly roast it in the oven to see if I could slightly sweeten the taste of raw garlic. Boy was I surprised by the taste of oven roasted green garlic - it was a mix between roasted garlic and caramelized onions and the more crisped bits did not turn bitter at all (this usually happens to me when I over caramelize garlic and onions).
I added the roasted green garlic to my pesto and I even added it to my pulled pork sandwich as a topping - it was very delicious. Try my roasted green garlic today and see how you can incorporate this delicious treat in your meals:
Roasted Green Garlic
1 Bunch Green Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Turn the oven on to 350. Wash and peal the outer layer of the green garlic, and remove parts that have dried. To ensure even roasting, I cut some of the green garlic from root to stem to make sure that I have equal pieces of green garlic.
Add the green garlic to an oven safe pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little bit of oil; you just want the green garlic to be coated slightly. Add the green garlic to the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes, depending on the amount of garlic you have it will take longer to roast.
After the 15 minute mark, check to see if the green garlic has softened and whether it has started to slightly caramelize in certain parts. You will notice that some parts have caramelized a lot more, do not be alarmed it will still taste great!
Once the green garlic has reached your desired colour and taste, take it out of the oven and add it to your favorite dishes!
– Andreea Nicoara