Green Garlic, and Lunch in Huesca

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It's Weekend Herb Blogging time and my herb/vegetable of the week is Green GarlicAaweekendherbblogging This week is being hosted by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything …at least once

A few years ago we took a day trip from Andorra into the Somontano wine region of Spain.  We stopped at Enate and Vinas del Vero to pick up our summer rosados.  After duly sampling and buying we continued on up into the Pyrenean foothills for lunch at a restaurant our friend had discovered the summer before.

It was a typical, hot, dusty, early May day in Huesca.  As we arrived in the tiny village we roused lazy dogs sleeping in the middle of the road and disturbed the old men sipping wine under the shade tree in the Plaza Major.  As is typical of these small, mountain places there weren't any 'parking lots', there was barely room for cars!  We just left ours out of the way and wandered up to the restaurant on foot, nodding greetings to people through the open doors of the houses. 

We were early for lunch; it wasn't even 2:00 yet.  We were told we could wait in a little courtyard across the street.  A few minutes later a bottle of the local white wine appeared, chilled, with a small plate of olives and ham, complements of the owner.  We settled into the rhythm of Rawthe Spanish day. 

About an hour later we were summoned into the restaurant: lunch was ready.  There was no menu to look at nor choices to be made.  We sat and were served.  They brought another bottle of the chilled white to have with the first few courses, then a hearty red with the meat and cheese courses.  Strong, hot coffee was served after dessert.  The little place was packed with about 20 other people.  No locals, of course.  This place was far too expensive for them.  Our lunch for three was almost $50.00 (including all the wine).  The 5-course lunch was sublime, everything perfectly cooked, all seasonal, locally grown, fresh.

It was my first introduction to Green Garlic.  He show-cased it in simple scrambled eggs.

Sauteed Green garlic is immature garlic.  It's harvested before the individual bulbs are formed and while the stalks are still tender.  The entire stalk is edible, raw or cooked.  The garlic flavor is mild and sweet.  If you see it, don't hesitate, grab it quickly.  It's season is fleeting, just a few weeks in the spring. 

I saw some at the market last week.  One bunch for 90 cents.  It was all they had and it was all mine!  All I could think about for the rest of the day was scrambled eggs.   

They couldn't be ordinary scrambled eggs.  They had to be creamy, meltingly wonderful scrambled eggs.

Oh yeah, they had some green asparagus, too.  Nice garnish I thought.

Green Garlic Scrambled Eggs with Greengarliceggs Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Tips
  This serves 2 as a first course

8 – 10 asparagus spears
1 slice Prosciutto
3 eggs
4 – 5 stalks of green garlic
2 tbs (1 oz, 25ml) heavy cream
1 tsp cold, hard butter
2 tsp butter – any temperature
salt and pepper to taste
Truffle oil

Cut the asparagus tips 3 inches long (8cm).  Heat an inch of water to boiling in a saucepan or skillet large enough to lay the asparagus flat.  When the water is boiling add the asparagus and cook for 6 – 9 minutes, depending on thickness, just until the point of a knife goes in easily.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Slice the Prosciutto the long way into 4 – 5 strips then in half the short way so you have one strip for each asparagus tip.  Wrap the Prosciutto around the asparagus.
Cut the stem ends of the green garlic and remove the outer layer.  Slice about 1/8" (.5cm) thick including green tops.  In medium nonstick skillet melt the 2 tsp of butter over medium heat.  Add green garlic  and sauté just until starting to come apart, about 2 minutes.  They should keep a bit of crunch.  In medium bowl whisk eggs.  Add cream, salt, pepper and whisk.  With a knife cut the 1 tsp of cold butter into tiny pieces and add to eggs.  This will melt as the eggs cook making them really creamy.  Add the eggs to the green garlic in the pan and with a spatula gently stir the eggs, mixing in the green garlic.  When the eggs are almost, but not quite, set divide them and add to the plates with the asparagus.  Serve immediately.  The residual heat will finish cooking the eggs before you get your fork into them.  Taking them out of the pan still a bit underdone keeps them more tender and creamy.  Drizzle a bit of truffle oil over the asparagus before serving. 

In case your wondering how we managed to get out of the mountains of Huesca on those tiny back roads… mon mari was designated driver; J and I napped.

Be sure to stop by Haalo's blog, Cook (almost) Anthing …at least once on Monday for the recap of all of the wonderful herby/veggie recipes.  Weekend Herb Blogging was started over a year ago by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen

10 thoughts on “Green Garlic, and Lunch in Huesca”

  1. Mmm, I was introduced to green garlic at farmers’ market last year, I think it was, and it’s great. Around here, I still have it to look forward to (the market opens May 12).

  2. Although I am German I adore green asparagus. Yesterday I saw the first German white asparagus on farmers market, it costs a fortune.
    Your dish looks great!

  3. I haven’t tried the green garlic yet. Not sure if they are available at the farmers’ market here in Australia. Your eggs look fantastic!

  4. That looks delicious, my mouth is watering. I’ll look for some green garlic at the market on friday.

  5. Katie, I almost forgot to re-adjust my mindset on lunch-time… 2 o’clock is too early in Europe, eh.
    Green garlic scramble eggs! So aromatic and juicy!!! Now I am trying to grow green garlic, but they don’t look very strong *sigh*

  6. Lisa, such a long wait yet – I get so impatient for spring goodies! I rarely see green garlic so this was a real treat!
    Ulrike, most Europeans seem to prefer the white. I prefer the green, with violet next. I want to come to Germany sometime for the asparagus festivals…
    Thanks Anh, Helene. I think it may be something one has to grow to get a supply. I may try it next year.
    I hope you find some, Meredith. I haven’t found anymore but I’m trying a different market this week. We live between towns so I have a choice.
    Gattina I can’t wait to hear how your growing attempt turns out!

  7. I thought up until now that I was the worse garlic grower in the Var, I planted them ages ago, or so it seems and when I dug one out, it looked like a spring onion, now I know, thanks to you that they are indeed still immature. I will be digging several up now for your yummy recipe:) thanks Katie!

  8. Maria, I just dug up garlic that I planted 2 years ago. In the summer the ground is too hard to get it out so it just kept recycling… now, it’s young, green garlic again.

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