Seasonal Bulbs - Shopping & Cooking

Garlic
Green Garlic
Leeks
Onion, Basic
Onion, Cipollini
Onion, Green/Scallions
Onion, Spring/Summer
Onion, Sweet
Onion, Torpedo
Ramps, Wild Leeks
Shallots

Garlic

One garlic bulb consists of numerous cloves. The cloves and the entire bulb are encased in a paper-like sheathe that can be white, off-white or purplish. Purple-skinned Mexican or Italian varieties and the large Elephant garlic variety are less pungent. Fresh garlic available July-December, but cured (dried) garlic is sold year-round.

Separate from skins and slice, chop, or crush. Pungency mellows after preparation. Use to flavor soups, sautés, sauces, marinades or dressings. Roast the entire bulb in its skin until soft to spread on bread.

Look for: Plump, firm garlic with unbroken skins. Avoid garlic that is soft, moldy or has begun to sprout. Size is not an indication of quality.

Storage: Store in a cool, dark place away from heat and sunlight to prevent sprouting. Once the head has been broken, garlic stays fresh for only a few days.

What's cooking:
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes
Farm Recipes


Green Garlic

Green garlic is garlic that's pulled from the ground before a bulb forms, when it looks more like a fat spring onion or skinny leek. It's very aromatic and has a mild, fresh, sharp, herb-like flavor.

Use it in the place of garlic, green onions or scallions. Most people cook with the white and pale green parts, but you can use the tougher green tops in broths or the like.

Look for: Dry, slightly firm, shiny green garlic. Avoid those with brown areas or slimy stalks.

Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag, or stand upright in water with a plastic bag around it.

What's Cooking:
Knoll Farm Recipes
Mariquita Farm Recipes

  • Wild nettle toppe (flat square pasta) with favas, spring onion & green garlic -- Chris Cosentino at Incanto
  • Seared escolar (fish) on a stew of chickpeas, chorizo & kale in a green garlic sauce -- James Ormsby at Jack Falstaff
  • Grilled squab w/ Barolo wine sauce, English pea & green garlic risotto -- Jean-Pierre Moulle & Kelsi Kerr at Chez Panisse

Leeks

Available year-round, but best in the colder months.

Leeks are large, sweet-stalked onions that look somewhat like oversized green onions with flat leaves. Their thickness can range from a few inches to just a few centimeters.

Leeks have a complex yet mild flavor, and are very versatile. You can dice them, or cut them into rings or matchsticks. They're often used in soups, as a side dish, deep-fried or sauteed in the place of onions.

Look for: Firm, smooth, unblemished leeks with brightly colored leaves. Avoid those with withered, yellowed or slimy leaves, or any that are overgrown. (They develop a woody core that's unusable.)

Storage: Cut off green tops and refrigerate in a plastic bag. Wash throughly before using.

What's Cooking:
Farm Recipes
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes


Onion, Basic

aka storage onions. Three basic types: yellow ("generic" onion), white (cleaner, tangier flavor), and red (sweet enough to eat raw).

To minimize crying, chill the onion before chopping. To mellow the flavor when serving raw, soak onions in ice water for 30 minutes beforehand. Onions' pungent flavor sweetens after cooking.

Look for: Dry, firm, shiny onions with thin, papery skin and a tightly-closed neck. Avoid ones that are sprouting, or have dark, soft or moldy spots.

Storage: Store in a loose, non-plastic bag in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated place. For longer term, wrap in foil and refrigerate.

What's cooking:
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes


Onion, Cipollini

An Italian version of the pearl onion, with a rich and sweet flavor.

See the Onions, Basic section for shopping and storage info.

What's cooking:
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes (substitute cipollinis for pearls)


Onion, Green/Scallion

aka spring onion...

Scallions are onions that are pulled before a large bulb has formed. Locally, several farms offer different varieties: most often green scallions or yellow scallions.

Finely chop to use raw in salads or as a garnish, or cook them briefly in soups, sauces, stir-frys, anything!

Look for: Green onions with unblemished white stalks and fresh greens. Avoid those with brown areas or slimy stalks.

Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

What's cooking:
Farm Recipes
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes


Onion, Spring/Summer

aka green onion...

Just like common green onions, but with a mild-tasting onion bulb. You may also find Italian cipollini spring onions that have a really nice flavor.

Look for: Firm bulbs with fresh green tops. Avoid those with brown or mushy spots, or slimy stalks.

Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

What's cooking:
Farm Recipes
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes


Onion, Sweet

aka Maui, Walla Walla, Vidalia onion. Sweet onions are mild, crisp and have a higher sugar and water content than basic onions.

Ideal for eating raw on sandwiches, burgers, and salads, but also great cooked.

Look for: Dry, firm onions with thin, papery skin and a tightly-closed neck. Avoid ones that are sprouting, or have dark, soft or moldy spots.

Storage: Store in a loose, non-plastic bag in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated place. Use soon after purchase, as they spoil quicker than basic onions.

What's cooking:
Farm Recipes
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes


Onion, Torpedo

A strong-flavored, football-shaped red onion from Italy.

See the Onions, Basic section for shopping and storage info.

What's cooking:
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes (substitute torpedos for red)


Ramps, Wild Leeks

A springtime, wild onion native, ramps have a garlic/onion flavor and aroma.

Raw or cooked, bulbs and greens add a uniquely pungent flavor to any dish calling for onions or leeks.
more info coming soon

What's cooking:
Wild-Leeks.com Recipes

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Shallots

more info coming soon

What's cooking:
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes