Green Garlic is our first big spring crop every year. Individual garlic cloves are planted, producing a plant very similar to green onions, as the garlic starts its life cycle, moving toward heads of finished garlic, usually about mid August.
Of course, those glorious scapes are right in the middle.
This green garlic confit is something that I make a jar or two of each year, and I have taken to using it for so very many things. Of course, this highly seasonal crop is delicious just thrown onto the grill, or chopped into a pot of cooking soup, but it is so worth making this simple recipe, as having this stable jar of garlic oil and bits of tender green garlic in the fridge to near effortlessly add flavor to a wide range of dishes, is so convenient and delicious
The flavor is a bit more complex, and the slow cooking in the fat, really tenderizes the greens, and the recipe could not be much more simple.
- 1 lb green garlic
- 1 dried hot pepper
- 1 quart of fat or oil, or more
- 1 lime
Remove the root end from the green garlic, and slice into 1/4 inch rounds, all the way up through the greens.
Place in a colander, wash thoroughly in running water, and drain well.
Place in a good sized sauce pan (taller is better than wider) and add the quart of oil or fat, completely covering the garlic, once melted. If not, add just enough more, to cover.
Place the pan over medium low heat for 10 minutes or so, just to get things going. When everything has warmed, and a few bubbles are coming up, reduce the heat to as low as possible, and continue cooking for at least an hour. The vibrant color will fade from the greens, and everything will become tender.
As the garlic slowly cooks in the oil, turn to your hot pepper, break it open and shake out as many seeds as possible. Set the pepper in the cooking garlic for a minute to soften, then remove and drain.
Chop the pepper thoroughly, and return to the pan. Cook at least 10 minutes more.
Turn off the stove, add the juice from the lime, and about a teaspoon of salt.
Stir and give it some time. The salt will be slow to dissolve.
Taste and adjust seasoning, ladle into a jar or two, and push all the way to the back of the fridge and leave it there for a couple of weeks. Anytime you might want garlic oil, you have it. And anytime you might like to add easy garlic flavor to a quick dish, it is ready for you.
This mixture will keep for a very long time, but it is important that the fat always cover the solids. If the oil is becoming depleted, it is time to use up the solids. Thoroughly cooked and certain that the oil is always over the garlic, expect an easy 8-10 months safely in the fridge.