Fresh Garlic

I have recently started regrowing a number of vegetables and herbs right from my kitchen’s window and have had loads of fun watching them grow before my eyes, while enjoying their fresh taste and aroma in my salads and cooked foods.

I find growing garlic sprouts from the clove to be the easiest and most rewarding among the vegetables I have tried so far (including lettuce, celery, scallion and parsley). Easiest because it just happens without much effort and so fast! Rewarding, because in my city, Montreal, it is not easy to find fresh (green) garlic all year round and I just adore the tender taste of it in traditional Persian cuisine as well as in almost any other type of food.

The video bellow shows the growth of my garlic in ten days, captured in ten slides. Pretty straight forward, right?

GrowingGarlic from Afsaneh Hojabri on Vimeo.

Yet, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • To start, buy a whole garlic bulb from a grocery store where their stock is fairly fresh.
  • “Open” the bulb, without skinning it completely, and divide it into two if it is too plump.
  • Place each bunch of garlic cloves in a transparent container. The idea here is to be able to see not only the growth of the roots, but to check on the water you are about to add in, thereby changing it as soon as it gets cloudy.
  • Add just enough water to touch the base of the garlic cloves; you do not want the cloves to be submerged in the water and get smelly and rotten after a couple of days.
  • Place the containers in a sunny and warm spot (4-5 hours of direct sun per day will do). If you have a sunny kitchen window, that is the ideal spot.
  • All you have to do is changing the water once it evaporates completely or when it gets cloudy. You should see the first sprout in a couple of days. After that, the white roots as well as the green sprouts keep growing tall to much of your delight!
  • Each clove may produce a few shoots, and each shoot gets as tall as 10 cm. They are ready for harvest once they get about 4 cm tall, but I would wait for their full growth before snapping off  from the top just what I need for a certain recipe.  You will not more shoot from a sprout that has been cut down to the clove.

Unlike garlic clove, green garlic has a very subtle and pleasant and not-lingering taste which makes it an ideal addition to almost any type of cold or hot dish.  I recently used my precious little garlic sprouts in Kookoo with potato (Persian pancake), and sabzi polow (herb-mix rice). Obviously the taste is more fully preserved when it is used fresh, such as in (absolutely any type of) salad, and in oven baked potatoes, along with chopped parsley.

Hope you go for the cultivating-cooking package and find it as rewarding and enjoyable as I do!