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It's Weekend Herb Blogging time and my herb/vegetable of the week is Green Garlic. 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 the 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.
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.
8 – 10 asparagus spears
1 slice Prosciutto
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
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