It is that time of year when some varieties of garlic start to think about growing, even if they've been carefully stored in a cool dry place. When you see a little green shoot starting to poke out of of your garlic cloves, don't panic. The cloves are still perfectly good to chop up and add to your favorite recipes.
Or even better, you can tuck some of the sprouting cloves into a dish or container of potting soil and grow your own renewable supply of tender, mild garlic greens. Just a handful of cloves can keep you in green garlic for the rest of the winter.
1) Find a container that has drain holes in the bottom and fill it with moist compost or potting soil.
2) Separate the garlic into individual cloves.
3)Push each clove about half way into the moist soil, blunt end down.
4) Set the container in a warm sunny window, then sit back and watch the garlic grow.
5) Like any indoor plant, keep a eye on the soil and water it when it starts to dry out.
In just a few weeks you will have 6 to 8 inch green garlic leaves shooting up out of cloves. To havest, simply snip off the leaves, taking no more than 1/2 of the leaves at one time so that the garlic plant will continue to have the energy to keep on growing.
Green garlic has a mild garlicky flavor. The chopped leaves are perfect to sprinkle over baked potatoes or to use in omelets, stirfries, or to add to salads. When cooking with it, keep in mind that the flavor is much milder and delicate than that of garlic cloves. When I use green garlic, I often use it raw or add it the very last minute to cooked dishes so that it does not loose its flavor.