First of all, many of you may be wondering "What is green garlic?". The easiest way to describe green garlic is to compare it to green onions, only it is garlic, not onions. In a more detailed description, garlic cloves can be dug up in the spring when the shoots are nicely developed. Here in SE Michigan that is typically around the end of April unless a warm spring like we have had this year in 2012 brings them ready to harvest sooner. It is important to harvest before the single-planted clove starts 'bulbing out'. The roots, clove, and shoots are all dug up intact, then washed, trimmed, and eaten exactly as you would green onions from the white clove all the way up to the tip of the green shoots (trim off any browned or dried tips). Hint: do not trim roots until you wish to use them, keeping them nicely damp, even storing upright with the roots in water.
You can make your fajitas any which way you would like and then top them with chopped green garlic. The green garlic is the most mildly flavored form of garlic, so much so that cooking it causes much of the garlicness to disappear, so we generally just toss it into salads, mix it in to egg salad or tuna salad, top a pizza after it is cooked, add at the very end of a stir-fry, toss onto hot pasta, or in this case, sprinkle on top of fajitas just like you would other toppings like a salsa, extra lime juice, guacamole, etc.
I made mine with extra-firm tofu, chopped into strips, stir-fried with some hot spicy salsa made by Nightshade Army Industries in Ypsilanti, MI (all locally grown ingredients, including our garlic). Then in a separate pan, I just stir-fried some pepper strips, onions slices together and I forget what else, adding a bit of lime juice at the end.
Right now I don't even remember if I served this on rice, or chips, or in roll-ups - it does not matter. Do whatever your family likes best. Use chicken, pork, beef or even tempeh strips. Add other vegetables. I love such flexible cooking and eating.
Special Note - I can't speak for all garlic growers, but we don't sell green garlic 'cheap' because by harvesting green garlic now, we are essentially sacrificing an entire bulb (head) of garlic being formed to sell later with each slender stalk and clove of green garlic dug out of the ground in April. Wow - think about that! Each of those cloves and its stalk will make a full head of garlic in a few months.
In fact because local chefs have bought all of our green garlic the past two years, we decided to hold some of our green garlic in reserve for our Garlic CSA members this year. In fact, the "top tier" CSA members got our first green garlic of the year, even before the chefs!
Here are some photos, including green garlic, so you get a better sense of what this is and what to look for at the markets.
Green Garlic, from multiple garlic varieties, thus different colors, with a typical paring knife for size comparison.
Tofu strips stir-fried in my smaller cast iron skillet, seasoned with and cooked in some spicy salsa.
Fajita filling in my larger cast iron skillet - I see peppers, mushrooms, and onions, cooked until soft, then seasoned with a bit of lime juice.
Adding the chopped green garlic at the end, so it did heat up a tiny bit but was not fully cooked.
Fajitas - tofu and vegetables with green garlic served over brown rice.
Yum, yum! I wish I had some right now to eat again. If green garlic is not in your area or already done, I'm just guessing that this recipe could be duplicated with chopped garlic scapes, too. They'll be ready in a few weeks!
Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,
Diana Dyer, MS, RD
PS - Oh fooey - I'm sorry about the weird coloring/formatting on this post. Arghhhh.......I hope that 'substance over style' is acceptable here.