How To Tell Green Garlic From Green Onions

by | Feb 15, 2010
Green Garlic

Green Garlic

Believe it or not, young spring greens are already starting to turn up at the farmers market.

Green garlic is one of the unique spring treats we’ll be able to find for the next several months. The same species as regular garlic, green garlic has not yet matured into the pungent bulbs most of us are accustomed to. While the flavor is still recognizable as garlic, it is more subdued and delicate when still green. This gentler version is ideal for pairing with the subtle tastes of springtime.

Look for green garlic at your local farmers market from now until the end of spring. The only issue is, green garlic can look a lot like green onions if you don’t know how to tell the difference.

Your first clue is the slightly purple tint that can sometimes appear on the stalks of green garlic.

Green Garlic

Green Garlic

Green Onions

Green Onions

But the only fool proof way to tell the difference is to examine the shape of the leaves. You are probably already familiar with the tube shaped green ends of green onions. Green garlic is distinct in that the leaves are flat instead of round.

Flat Garlic Leaves

Flat Garlic Leaves

Try green garlic sauteed in scrambled eggs, sliced raw into salads or mashed up with goat cheese as a spread.

What is your favorite way to use green garlic?

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6 Responses to “How To Tell Green Garlic From Green Onions”

  1. Darya, fyi I’m putting up a pointer to this on Wednesday.

    Is this what people mean when they talk about garlic scapes, or is that something different?

  2. Thanks for this post.

    I have a funny story in my cookbook The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment about my husband and a time that he came to pick me up at the airport early in the morning. He reeked of garlic so I asked what he had for dinner the night before. He said, “I made salad and put in the whole bunch of green onions that you left.” Well, he had no idea that he used a whole bunch of green garlic but I certainly could tell.

    I often read that story in classes when I show them green garlic and green onions. You can usually tell by the smell.

    BTW, I love green garlic and bought my first of the season last week, along with the 1st remnants (like 8 stalks) of asparagus. Spring is on its way in the vegetable world. Pretty exciting.

  3. RJ Flamingo says:

    Thank you! I just saw and bought these today for the first time! I should show you a pic of the onions I bought today – maybe you know what they are, too!

    I braised them with the unusual onions in Montepulciano wine, demerara sugar, hit ’em with some awesome balsamic vinegar & canned ’em.

    Love your blog – definitely going to follow you on Twitter!

  4. Abraham says:

    tell me about the difference between Onion, garlic, and green onion with their picture?

    What are the difference between primary, secondary and tertiary cream?

  5. Damyanti says:

    Geen garlic can also be used to make potato curry similar to spring onion curry. Have it with Paratha or roti

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