Have you ever heard of green garlic? I had, well … sort of, but not really. I was looking at a bunch at the greengrocer’s and thought it was some weird kind of spring onio/scallion. There you go: you live and you learn (“and then you die and forget it all” as Noel Coward once famously quipped). Anyway. I bought a bunch and put it in the fridge for a very long time before I got around to using it, and decided I really liked it. Below is some information on green garlic that I have copied from a website called http://www.thekitchen.com – and very useful it is too:
Quote: “Regular hardneck garlic is easy to identify — dried little white paper bulbs that taper off at the top — but what about the bright-green versions of garlic you often see at farmers markets labeled green garlic and garlic scapes? Are those really the same thing? And how are they related to the garlic plant?
Green garlic is young garlic with tender leaves that is harvested early in the season before the bulb is fully formed. Garlic scapes are the curly shoots from the plant that form later in the season into curly green stalks that have tightly closed buds on top.
More About Green Garlic
The easiest way to think about green garlic is that it’s baby garlic. It has a long green top that looks a bit like scallions, sometimes a tiny bulb at the end, and it may even be tinged with a bit of pink. Green garlic is more mellow and less spicy in flavor then regular garlic, and can be used raw or cooked like scallions. It’s usually harvested in the spring.
End of quote (and thank you Kitchen ! https://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-between-green-garlic-and-garlic-scapes-221167)
One evening I really fancied eating some fish for dinner. At the fishmonger’s I fell in love with a beautiful seabream called ‘orata’ in Italian, and asked the fishmonger to fillet it for me into two halves. I had a special date with husband that evening and wanted to cook something a little different.
Well, the green garlic was different. Coriander with fish? also a little different. Bread crumbs toasted with olive oil? Why not! And here is the recipe I made up just like that (and for ‘just like that’ read ‘after a couple of glasses of wine’). We thought it was really really really yummy. And it was not at all difficult to make, on the contrary.
Seabream fillets, green garlic, coriander, breadcrumbs toasted in olive oil, butter, olive oil, 1 and only 1 solitary clove, a few coriander kernels, a couple of peppercorns, some lemon zest, a willingness to make the most of life for a couple of hours, a desire to make a loved one happy, and a glass of wine or two, espresso after dinner optional.
Start with the fish. I was lucky to find line caught fish (and lucky enough to afford it – one seabream cost Eu25). Otherwise just use what you find, and can afford. If it is frozen, pat it dry before cooking.
Start by grating a little bit of lemon zest and put it aside for now.
Then get your seabream fillets ready and your saucepan out.
What you see here are: a blob of butter, a green garlic roughly cut up, some coriander kernels, a couple of peppercorns, one and only one solitary clove, and a puddle of olive oil. Good olive oil, obviously.
Turn the heat on, cook the fillet(s), skin side down at first, for a couple of minutes over a low heat.
Add the other fillet to the saucepan. Flip the fillet when you think it’s cooked. It does not take long.
Toast some breadcrumbs in another saucepan with some olive oil. And maybe try not to cook it quite so much as I did (phew – I just managed not to burn it).
Add the lemon zest first and then the breadcrumbs. Some salt. Some pepper if you like. and that’s it! Done.
The last thing is to add some freshness to the dish. I had some mint leaves and that’s what I used.
The fish was cooked to perfection even if I say so myself – it was cooked to a consistency that is ‘soft’ as opposed to ‘dry’. Luscious.
Can you see?
And there was plenty of ‘ooze’ too – melted butter and olive oil, to keep things nice and moist.
I served the fish with some spinach.
And with some fried aubergine/eggplant cubes. Sprinkled marjoram leaves over those.
Some dinners are special just because … and this one was. How nice.