Flavorful Alternatives to Your Meals

Green Garlic

Edible bulbs, with their distinctive flavors and a lot of nutritional advantages make other vegetables look somehow lazy. Adding their earthy, pungent sweetness is one of the simplest ways to change any dish. Vegetables in the allium family have been linked to reduced risk for breast and colon cancers and hold a number of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and quercetin, which may have disease-preventing and age-slowing properties.

While most—garlic, onions, scallions, shallots, and leeks—are available year-round, a few other culinary gems from the same plant family can be found only in spring. These include ramps, scapes, and green garlic.

Here are some additional bulb products you can add to you meals:

Green Onions (Scallions)
Milder than a red or yellow onion but stronger than chives, they pair well with eggs, goat cheese, and Asian food. They can be used as a garnish, unlike other bulbs.

This is a less-pungent, slightly sweeter bulb than garlic. Shallots are great in salad dressings, vinegars, and butters, they can be mixed with tomatoes or herbs such as thyme and tarragon; they can even stand up to beef.

Garlic Scapes
These curly, deep-green stalks are the shoots that grow from hardneck garlic bulb varieties. Alike asparagus in texture, they have a more subtle flavor than the bulbs. Chop and add them to ground beef or lamb or use to make pesto.

Green Garlic
This products is called spring or early garlic because it has yet to mature, green garlic can be distinguished from green onion by its flat green leaves and purple tint on the stalk. It is great to use in in dip: You can puree the greens and bulbs with white beans, olive oil, lemon juice, and smoked paprika.

Foodies rave about ramps (also called wild leeks), which are harvested in early spring and have a small white bulb, purple-tinged stalks, and onion-scented edible green foliage. Grill them whole and drizzle with olive oil; add them to scrambled eggs, a frittata, or pizza.

Leeks make an ideal partner for fish, shellfish, chicken, and potatoes, as well as sauces made with mustard or white wine.http://massguide.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/potent-food-beans/
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