Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

Enjoy young garlic during its springtime appearance

Green garlic flavor permeates this spring green risotto. (Photos: Kathy
Recipe: Green garlic risotto is full of color and flavor

The farmers markets are starting to fill up with spring produce. One of my favorites to cook with is green garlic, which makes a short appearance this time of year as plantings are thinned. (See the
pasta recipe we published last spring.)

Green garlic simply is garlic that hasn't yet formed its distinctive papery bulbs. The single bulb and the light green stalk are all edible, just as with green onions. The flavor definitely says garlic, but it's not as pungent as full-grown garlic.

Risotto shows off this flavor spectacularly. This particular recipe -- adapted from one I found at -- is bright green, thanks to some spinach and an extra step. But if you prefer, or want to speed things up, you can skip that part and use only the white bulb part just like you would onion in any risotto. And be patient with risotto -- it takes a lot of stirring to get the rice to absorb the broth, but it's so worth the effort.

The green garlic stalks look like leeks or over-achieving scallions, but one whiff
will tell you this is garlic. Arborio rice, Parmesan and greens are the other key
ingredients for the risotto.
Green garlic risotto
Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish

Ingredients :

2 bulbs/stalks green garlic
1 cup fresh greens such as baby spinach, arugula or baby chard
1/2 cup white wine
5-1/2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
Olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions :

Trim the ends of the green garlic and cut off the white bulbs. Chop the bulbs and set aside. Rinse the stalks well and roughly chop them. (Depending on how big the stalk is, you may want to chop off the toughest top dark green part and compost it.)

Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl (basically a bowl of cold water with about 6 ice cubes in it.) In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Blanch the chopped stalk pieces for 3 minutes or until tender, adding the 1 cup greens to the broth during the final 30 seconds.

Scoop out the blanched greens from the broth and put them in the ice bath. This stops the cooking and preserves the intense green color. (If you can't catch some of the smaller pieces in the broth, don't worry -- they'll end up in the risotto eventually with the broth.) Keep the broth simmering over the heat.

The greens make an intensely green puree.
Now scoop the greens out of the ice bath and put them in a blender or food processor. Add a little cold water,  just a tablespoon or so, and puree the greens. I left mine just a little chunky, but the smoothness of the puree is up to you.

In a large saucepan or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped white garlic bulbs and sauté, adding a touch of salt while stirring. Once the garlic is just tender, add the rice and stir for a few minutes.

Stir in the wine until it is absorbed by the rice. Turn the heat up to medium-high and begin adding the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed before adding more. Continue this process until the rice is cooked al dente (be sure to test it); you may not use all the broth.

Stir in the greens puree and the butter. Taste for seasoning and add salt and black pepper to taste. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the Parmesan.

Serve in bowls, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and more Parmesan.


0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Local News

Ad for California Local

Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

Contact Us

Send us a gardening question, a post suggestion or information about an upcoming event.