Edible Magazine’s Rachel Wharton recently went to Ciano restaurant to talk green garlic and other fresh ingredients with its owner and chef.
Green garlic is one of seven greenmarket ingredients Edible is celebrating during its Eat Drink Local Week next month. Regular garlic is picked in fall and dried. Spring garlic, however, is subtle, fresh and tender, and it can be cooked with the whole stem. Ciano owner Shea Gallante has been using it since his grandparents grew their own vegetables upstate.
“We ate everything from the garden,” says Gallante. “One of the things namely is green garlic. So, you know, they would let some garlic grow, you know, to its full potential, harvest it in the fall, let it dry, and let it store over the winter time. But they would take a certain amount and pull it when it was still green, and they were big into jarring and canning, so they would send it with us and my mother, we had some at our house too but we would just take, like, a surplus and my mother would cut it up thin, put it in a pot with oil and just cook it till it was soft. Basically, ‘confiting’ it, although she didn't use the term ‘confit.’ You know, she just probably thought of it as slow deep frying or something like that. And, you know, we used it. You know, she would put it in pasta, she would put it on vegetables, and it was just like another variation of garlic.”
That's exactly the same approach he takes at Ciano today.
"I use it as a condiment,” says Gallante. “So I will take the olive oil and garlic, and I mix concassed tomatoes and chopped up lemon in there, and I put some balsamic and sherry and I let that kinda steep. So its garlic, but it's still acidic, and it has a little sweetness from the balsamic and we use it as like a topping on, you know, fish, soft shell crabs, we'll put it in sauces. It's just, it has many uses."
To get this recipe and learn more about Eat Drink Local Week, go to ediblemanhattan.com