Allium is the Latin word for garlic. It’s also a genus of plants that includes garlic, onions, and onion-related cousins like leeks. We think of these as the base of many meals and try to include one or two options in every CSA share.
Alliums we grow:
Also called green onions and scallions, we grow both green and red bunching onions. Use the colored tips like onions, use the green tops like scallions, use it all!
Storage Tips: Fill a jar with an inch or two of water. Remove the rubber band, stand the onions in the jar, cover the whole thing with a plastic bag, and keep it in the fridge. Stored this way, the onions stay crisp for about a week.
We grow several varieties of garlic, including some hardneck and some softneck varieties. The hardneck varieties produce scapes in the late spring which are also tasty. We may also give out green garlic or fresh garlic in the early summer. You can use these just like cured garlic.
Storage Tips: In the early season we may give you fresh uncured garlic. Uncured garlic is best stored in a plastic bag in the fridge. Use it up quickly as condensation may accumulate in the bag and cause it to mold.
Storing cured garlic uncovered, such as in a wire-mesh basket inside your cupboard or beneath a small overturned clay pot, is ideal.
You can also store garlic in a paper bag, egg carton, or mesh bag. Just be sure there is plenty of dry air and little light to inhibit sprouting. To avoid mold, do not refrigerate or store cured garlic in plastic bags.
Garlic & Leek Scapes
Scapes are the initial stage of allium plants bolting. Eventually the tip of the scape will open up into a round flower. We grow several varieties of hardneck garlic, which produce scapes in the late spring. We also enjoy leek scapes in the spring.
Storage Tips: Garlic scapes will keep ~3 weeks when refrigerated loosely in plastic.
We grow several varieties of leeks that mature over the fall and winter seasons. We also enjoy leek scapes (like garlic scapes) and leek flowers in the spring.
Leeks can be hard to clean! Cut them in half lengthwise, keeping the root in tact. Run water over the whole leek rifling through the layers to give them a good rinse. If needed, do this a couple of times to make sure all of the fine silt is removed.
Storage Tips: Store leeks in the coldest part of refrigerator which is usually the bottom crisper drawer.
Leeks can be easily frozen for later use in soups, stews or casseroles. After cleaning, place cut leeks on a clean, dry towel and allow them to air dry. Flash freeze by placing them on a sheet tray in a single layer until just frozen. Placing a sheet of waxed paper on the tray before spreading out the leeks can make transfer once frozen a little easier.
We grow red and yellow storage onions for use throughout the fall and winter, and red and yellow sweet onions for fresh eating for both storage and fresh eating.
Storage Tips: Store onions in a dry and dark place, at an even temperature. Store only onions that are mature and properly cured. Curing means they’ve had time in a warm dry place to set their skins. Do not try to store onions or garlic that are nicked, sliced, or bruised. Eat those first. Place onion and garlic in separate mesh bags or a clean and dry wooden bin or waxed box. Don’t wash your onions or garlic before you store them. Keep them very dry. While in storage, check and cull them often to make sure the onions and garlic are not sprouting or developing soft spots. Remove and eat any damaged bulbs.
Shallots are very similar to onions, but denser, less watery, and tend to have a sweet pungent taste to them. They can be use in place of onions in any recipe. We grow red and yellow shallots.
Storage Tips: Store loosely in lunch-sized paper bags with holes punched in them for air circulation in a cool, dark pantry. Potatoes and onions/shallots should not be stored together. They give off gases that will accelerate spoilage of each other. Don’t ever store shallots in plastic bags. That will accelerate sprouting and spoilage because of the lack of air circulation. Shallots should not be stored for an extended time in the refrigerator because the cold temperature will soften their texture.