Green garlic is the kind that has not yet matured into the garlic we know and love for everyday use. It is usually available in the late spring, and looks awfully similar to scallions but has a more garlicky taste. Myriam Fieulleteau, NGI’s Executive Steward (and resident gardening guru), brought them in from her home garden and Chef Alex used them in this simple yet satisfying recipe.
(Yield: 4 servings)
½ pound fusilli, or other short-cut pasta
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ cups brown or green lentils
2 stalks green garlic, trimmed, thinly sliced on a diagonal
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 2 teaspoons salt. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
Reserve 1 ½ cups pasta cooking water, and drain pasta.
Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Meanwhile, place lentils in a shallow dish and pick through to make sure there are no stones or dirt. Rinse in cold water and transfer to a medium pot. Add remaining ½ teaspoon sea salt and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain lentils and return to pot.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add green garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add pasta, lentils, reserved pasta water and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine and cook until warmed through. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
Serve warm, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.