Green garlic is simply immature garlic that farmers pull from the field to thin the rows to make room for other garlic plants to mature. Early in the season green garlic is skinny and looks like the older, wiser sibling of green onions. As the season goes on, the green garlic gets older and develops discernible bulbs, like those pictured here. That's when it's time to start thinking about roasting it.
Roasting green garlic brings out its lovely springtime sweetness. More of it is edible than with mature roasted garlic, but you may need to chew around any papery peel that has developed. Roasted green garlic is particularly tasty when served with slices of toasted baguette, a bit of fresh goat cheese to smear on along with the garlic, and chopped fresh spring herbs like dill or chervil to sprinkle on before you dig in.
It makes a nice appetizer when thusly served, but it also is tasty served just as-is alongside a juicy steak or a grilled or roasted chicken. Diners can use it as a condiment with the meat or simply eat it as a vegetable. Roasted green garlic can also help perk up a baked potato, a platter of roasted vegetables, or an antipasti assortment.
- Preheat an oven to 375F degrees.* While the oven heats, trim the green garlic: remove and discard the roots and dark green stalk. Exactly how much of the stalk to trim depends on how much chewing you're interested in doing. Peel off as much of the paper peel that has developed; this will depend greatly on exactly how "green" and immature the garlic is.
- Lay the trimmed green garlic in a baking pan or on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to fold over and cover the green garlic. Lightly drizzle the green garlic with the olive oil and sprinkle it with the salt.
- Cover the green garlic with foil and roast it for 30 minutes. Remove the foil covering the green garlic and continue roasting the green garlic until it's tender and nicely browned, about 15 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature, and know that an additional drizzle of extra virgin olive oil doesn't hurt anything.
* The temperature doesn't matter too much—anything between 325 and 425 will do, so if you're cooking up something else, feel free to just pop the green garlic into the oven alongside. The adventurous can even wrap the green garlic in foil and pop it on a hot grill instead.