Green Garlic & a Pair of Fish, very simple cooking
I am not fond of more than a minimal amount of garlic in food but I adore green garlic. Alas I have never ever seen it in Bologna market. Green garlic is simply immature garlic, picked early when it is young and green before it has properly developed the cloves. It looks like a shapely spring onion (scallion) and has a fresh scent that is greener, more gentle and mellow than normal garlic, without the usual pungent and strong aroma. I brought a bunch back to Bologna from my recent week in Malta - a smelly bunch because as the photo shows my green garlic was some way past its infancy. I assure you it was well wrapped in many layers of paper so the smell was suffocated and I carried it on to the plane so as not to "perfume" my clothes. I wanted to use it all up before it dried into regular garlic.
I used the
white bulbs to make a simple puree, just chopped and softened with
olive oil, salt and a little water into a soft, brown deliciously nutty and frgarant mound. An Italian would not brown it but as this ingredient
does not exist in Italy, I felt free to colour my garlic for
once without letting it scorch. I used this to accompany a grilled
fish, a Leccia, which is a memebr of the Jack family. I had left over
puree which I spread on toasted bread: it made a scrumptious snack.
And I made a Frittata with the green tops, frittate being one of my favourite quick meals.
I cook my thin Italian Frittate without turning them over. I think that makes the eggs too leathery and I like my Frittata to be tender on top. I poke holes in the Fritatta to let uncooked egg reach the hot pan surface and when the top is almost-but-not-quite-set, I turn the heat off and cover with a lid so the top cooks by steaming.
When I went to buy my fish at the market, I could not resist getting a second fish, a Weever. No one seems to want to these fish, both very good eating, so they are cheap. The two of them cost me a grand total of 2 Euros and 45 cents. The second fish I just cut, floured and fried. Here they are together, they can't help looking sulky!
The photos below tell you the rest of the story.