Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jan 31, 2007 05:19 AM

Garlic that has started to sprout?

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?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  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.


    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. 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: 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.