Spring is in the air, and my eyes, and my throat. If you can feel the pollen crusted to your contact lenses every time you blink, then we are on the same page. And if there so much caked to your porch that you could make a fucking snow angel, I feel your pain. With this green army of areal intruders constantly sieging your facial fortresses, it’s easy to forget to stop and smell the vegetables.
That is if you are still cable of inhaling. Take a moment to breathe deep, and welcome mother nature with open arms. Spring is about bounty, not Benadryl! It’s time we take back the season!
Walk, don’t run, to your nearest grocery store or farm stand and hoard fresh vegetables like you need to be on an intervention show. Hoard, specifically, garlic shoots. Never had ‘em? Never fear! As far as weird vegetables go, these babies are far from intimidating. Crunchy, spicy, peppery: they’re like the love child of garlic and green beans. If that description doesn’t make you salivate with curiosity, you should probably go occupy yourself elsewhere.
One bunch (15-20 stalks) garlic shoots
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (full-fat or I will come after you)
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbs honey
Let’s start by tasting what we’re working with. Take a little nibble of your strange alien, and wince as the sharpness blows out your whole palate. It’s fucking garlicy, right? But the flavor dissipates as soon as you start to cook it; and the longer it’s cooked, the more mellow it becomes. Set the stalks aside for the moment, and slice up your baguette.
Were looking for about 3/4” thickness here. But don’t worry, you’re not being graded. It’s gloriously sunny here today so instead of toasting these in the oven, I’m going to fire up the grill. Drizzle your slices liberally with olive oil on both sides and grill over high heat until they are nice and charred. Cooking them quickly over high heat ensures that they will be the perfect ratio of outside-crusty to inside-chewy. If you don’t feel like grilling, Bake them at 425° until they are golden brown. Flip them once while you’re at it.
If you’re a kitchen wizard then you can probable handle grilling your crostini and sautéing your garlic shoots at the same time. Well, rock on with your bad self. I cannot. After you remove your bread from the grill, slice the stalks into tiny nuggets and slice the head in half. Heat your pan over high heat and coat with olive oil. Toss in the veg and salt, pepper, and pepper flake them to taste. Like we talked about before, the longer you cook the shoots, the more mellow the flavor gets. So let’s cook them quickly, but on high heat to preserve that bite. Seriously though, just sauté them for a minute or two at most, then remove them to cool.
Supreme your lemon, ready your honey, and mix your ricotta with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Now, we assemble. Bread, ricotta, nuggets, head, lemon, honey, repeat.
Mange! And punch spring right where it hurts.
- One bunch (15-20 stalks) garlic shoots
- 1 Baguette
- 2 lemons
- 1½ cups ricotta cheese (full-fat or I will come after you)
- ¼-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbs honey
- Slice up your baguette about ¾” thick
- Drizzle with olive oil and grill over high heat until golden brown and slightly charred
- Slice the garlic shoot stalks into tiny rounds and cut the heads in half
- Saute over high heat with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes for 1-2 mins, then remove them to cool
- Supreme your lemon
- Mix your ricotta with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
- Now, assemble. Bread, ricotta, garlic shoots, lemon, drizzle of honey, repeat