All about young garlic, garlic scapes, and young onions.
Typically, onions and garlic are harvested at peak ripeness late in the summer, then dried and stored throughout the winter. These stored crops are often depleted come spring, leaving a gap until the first mature harvest. In recent years, we got creative, asking our partners to help us extend the season by harvesting their garlic and onions while they're still young. Keep reading to learn why they’re the Marketplace’s hidden gems and how to add them to all your culinary creations.
Also known as spring or green garlic, this young bulb is harvested as early as May. Green and tender with a finer, fresher, and sweeter taste than its mature version, it can be eaten whole, from the clove to the tip.
You can’t (e)scape the garlic scape craze! Garlic is one of the few plants that have two harvests - the first being the scapes and the second being the fresh garlic itself. Scapes must be removed for the plant to thrive and, until recently, they were discarded. With their sweet, mild taste, these garlic scapes are a preview of summer, reduce food waste, and are a great addition to any recipe.
These may look like your typical scallions, but they’re actually the baby version of our good ol’ yellow onions. Harvested in the spring before they mature, they have a sweeter flavour than their full-grown counterparts. They can be enjoyed raw or cooked, and they’re edible from bulb to tip.
Below are six ways to incorporate these fresh young veggies into your recipes:
1. Let the steam work its magic.
Steam your garlic scapes just like you do with asparagus. Once they’re ready, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and enjoy!
2. Chop and fry ‘em up.
You can easily sauté any young Alliums to complement the protein of your choice. Over medium heat, add some butter or oil to a pan and cook until tender.
3. Use them as a colourful (and flavourful) garnish.
Finely chop them and sprinkle them onto anything from your homemade pizza to your burger to your fave soup.
4. The star of your salad dressing.
Finely chop the young Allium of your choice and add to a mix of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper, then drizzle onto your signature salad.
5. For the patient bunch - pickle ‘em!
Yep, just like other veggies, you can pickle these! Cut these young guys into equal sizes and marinate them using your favourite pickling recipe.
6. Grill them on your BBQ.
Toss them straight on the grill, or marinate them with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil first for a little more flavour.
These are a handful of ways to enjoy your garlic scapes, young garlic, and young onions. We’d love to hear about how you prep these early season veg - share your recipes and tag us on our social media accounts (Instagram: @lufafarms; Facebook: @Lufa Farms)!