In Season: Green Garlic Pesto

Green Garlic

For a few weeks each spring, savvy farmers market shoppers can find a seasonal treat they won’t generally see in stores: fresh green garlic. This vegetable, which resembles a small leek, is a favorite among those who are familiar with its versatile qualities.

Green garlic is actually immature garlic that is harvested before it produces cloves. The tall, woody stalk tapers to a single pale white bulb, sometimes with a slight rose hue. Its flavor is milder and more delicate than the cloves of the adult plant but equally delicious. It may be used in any recipe that calls for mature garlic.

I was thrilled to find green garlic in abundance at last Sunday’s Marin Civic Center Farmers Market in San Rafael. I grabbed several bunches and raced home to make pesto! My family loves this heavenly green sauce on pasta served with a simple garnish of Parmesan cheese. It also shines as an appetizer spread on warm rustic bread slices topped with fresh mozzarella and roasted tomatoes, or as a dressing/dip for veggies, chicken, or seafood–the possibilities are as varied as your imagination. How ever you use it, enjoy it while it lasts!



  • 3 to 5 stalks sliced fresh green garlic bulb (depending on how much garlic flavor you like.)
  • 2 bunches organic basil, rinsed
  • 1 cup grated high quality Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • organic cold-pressed virgin olive oil

1. Lightly rinse green garlic stalks and cut off the roots. Slice the white bulb and light green part of the stalk. Discard the dark-green woody top.

2. Place basil leaves, sliced green garlic, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor. On low-speed, blend these ingredients while slowly drizzling in olive oil to achieve the desired consistency.


*You will need to stop once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then resume on slow speed until all ingredients are incorporated.

Freeze left over pesto in ice-cube trays, then place cubes in freezer proof bags to use like fresh when the mood strikes.

Categories: Condiments, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Seasonal Recipes, SLOW FoodTags: , , , , ,


  1. Oh yummy! I plan to look for young garlic next time I visit the Farmer’s Market-thank you, Karen!

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