The Pretty, Pungent First Signs of Spring
Fresh alliums are among the sweetest harbingers of spring. A far cry from papery storage varieties, these succulent just-plucked aromatics deserve a starring role at the table.
The tiniest member of the onion family, chives are easy to cultivate. Don’t dig up the whole plant; treat it as a cut-and-come-again crop, snipping some of the greens and flowers — both are edible — when needed.
Less pungent in flavor than the familiar mature bulb, fresh garlic has just split into individual paper-wrapped cloves. Even younger green garlic is used in its entirety, like scallions.
Watch our How to Cook videos to learn the best ways to prepare this essential ingredient.
For garlic to produce the cloves we all know and love, the flower buds, or scapes, must be removed in early spring. Snakelike in appearance, they are slightly spicy and have become a springtime delicacy.
Leeks are an elegant and delicately flavored cousin of the onion. While growing, they are mounded with soil to keep their stems white and tender. Wash them carefully since the soil often gets caught between the plant’s many layers.