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Garlic that has started to sprout?

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My heads of garlic often start sprouting and have a green stemlike thing growing out of each clove. Are they still good to use in that state?

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  1. I use sprouted garlic all the time (if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to cook with fresh garlic in the winter in Ohio). I recommend "de-germing" the garlic (cutting it open and removing the sprout) as it can be bitter. It's easy to do, and you can easily pull out the sprout. However, if I'm roasting a head of garlic, I don't both with de-germing it. I always de-germ for sautees and the like, though.

    Cheers
    Niki

    1 Reply
    1. re: Niki in Dayton

      When I first got serious about cooking I was living in Tennessee. All my trendy cookbooks were telling me NEVER to use sprouted garlic, but that's the only kind I could get fresh, so I just pulled the sprout out and proceeded...and then I got a cookbook by an English writer, I think Elizabeth David, and she wrote, quite blithely, "Peel the garlic and discard the sprout." Just like that! I felt like putting that on a plaque and framing it...

    2. Yeah, they're fine. It's certainly not the most fresh and it's on it's way out, but keep on cooking with it! If you're so inclined, drop one in a pot of dirt and you have yourself a little garlic plant!

      1. thank you!

        1. You can also toss that sprouted garlic into soil and have seconds down the line...

          7 Replies
          1. re: aliris

            Waaay down the line: garlic has to overwinter.

            1. re: Nora Rocket

              What does that mean?

              1. re: Sarah

                Actually you don't *have* to overwinter it. You can use "fresh" garlic right from the ground. In fact, some people prefer it that way.

                Sarah, overwintering is a curing/drying process. All the garlic you buy at the store is overwintered.

                1. re: HaagenDazs

                  it is super delicious when it's "green" (before drying). AND you get garlic scapes if you grow it.

                2. re: Sarah

                  Garlic is a bulb much like a tulip and therefore is planted in the late fall and then harvested in the spring.

                  1. re: bolivianita

                    it's a member of the lily family -- same as onions, leeks and scallions.

                  2. re: Sarah

                    garlic takes forever to grow and mature. longer than practically anything else. however, i do sometimes throw sprouting garlic in the garden and occasionally pull them up. it takes months for it to make a big bulb and even longer for the big bulb to seprate into cloves. I like pulling it while it's still one big massive bulb and use that. fun if you have the space and patience.

              2. Garlic Chives are a great garnish. simply stick the bulds in dirt and let it grow then snip some in your soup, on your eggs, in a salad, etc.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bolivianita

                  what you are talkling about are scapes. Garlic Chives are a totally different plant. They are chives that grow very long and are flat and wider than regular chives. They are also called Chinese chives and are used in chive dumplings.

                  1. re: Candy

                    I didn't know what the real name for them was but I always keep a little pot with some garlic sprouting in it. Thanks for the info.

                2. After years of throwing away the sprouts, just this past week, I've started using the whole sprouted clove. The sprout has a very pleasant and strong flavor, much like wild garlic.

                  1. In Washington State, we harvest garlic in July. We do this when the scapes look full (ready to bloom) and the first leaves around the base are yellowing. Once uprooted, we peel the first leave off and cure in the sun for four weeks. Then we store in a cool place what we want to save or plant for next year (usually planted in October). The scapes are great with a little olive oil and light salt.

                    When my garlic sprouts, I remove the sprout and use the garlic, or, I plant the bulb, if it is too old, for next year.