Monday, April 11, 2011

Green garlic butter

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I had an interesting discussion with a colleague this week about how people express and perceive love. I think he was referring to Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages, the kind of book I must admit I'm not likely to read. Yet I learned a lot about my husband, my children, and myself in that short conversation. One of my kids clearly needs "words of affirmation." And my husband, not much for sappy verbal exchanges, expresses his love primarily through "acts of service,"  including doing our taxes (my hero!) and getting the oil changed in my car.

I'm not sure which of the five languages describes me best. But I do know that the other night, when I baked a loaf of fresh bread way past my bedtime so that my husband would be able to have bread and this homemade green garlic butter for a midnight snack, I was doing my best to express love in a language he would understand.

I've seen other recipes called "green garlic butter" that use regular garlic and get their color from parsley. This recipe uses green garlic - the young shoots of the garlic plant, harvested before the bulb has swelled and hardened. Pretend it's a huge scallion and use the whole thing. It's got a mild, delicate garlic flavor you can't get from bulb garlic. Green garlic is only available in the early spring when farmers are thinning their rows; look for it at your local farmers' market and use it often while you can get it.

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Homemade butter with green garlic
Fresh butter, green garlic and a touch of parsley: Bread has never been so happy.
two stalks green garlic1/4 cup fresh parsley1/2 tsp salt1 pint heavy cream
Wash and trim the ends off the green garlic stalks. You want to use as much of it as possible, including the green stem, but you'll have to take at least one layer off the outside to get it clean. Cut into 2-inch lengths and place in the bowl of a food processor with the parsley. Process until finely minced.Add the salt and the cream to the food processor and turn it on. Let the mixture whirl about 5 minutes, until you see the curds and whey separate. The curds are the butter; the whey you want to drain off. I tossed my whey, but if you can think of a use for it, save it - it's basically garlic-flavored buttermilk.Scoop the curds lightly into a sieve lined with cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter. Let drain at least two hours, or even overnight. You may have to press the curds and knead them to get out the excess liquid. You'll be left with a soft, smooth butter. Spread liberally on good bread, or use it to top grilled steak.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: approximately 3/4 cup


Brian Samuels Photography said...

This is so something I would love. Maybe with some tomato slices to throw on top. Looks wonderful!

The Cilantropist said...

I am LOVING young garlic right now, I think I will have to make this with my farmers market stash from this weekend. :)

TKTC said...

This looks divine. I'm growing garlic for the first time this year and am now compelled to go snag some shoots.

megan @ whatmegansmaking said...

great idea! I never knew what green garlic was. This butter sounds perfect for some homemade bread :)

Sippity Sup said...

I am totally stealing this to prove my love of your recipes. I think that's the 6th language...larceny! GREG

Erika Kerekes said...

@Sippity - you make me LAUGH!

Cookin' Canuck said...

This butter is so versatile. It would be perfect melted over a grilled steak or spread on fresh bread. Great recipe!

Megan said...

Oh how I love butter!

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