Many grocers have great supplies of Garlic, Radishes and Onions. Probably they have not been culled through to the highest quality as our sources do for us, but we include here the varieties that we think you will have a hard time finding at local grocers. Don't forget the wild foraged Ramps (now in Season).
Black Garlic. Black Garlic, originally intended as a healthy dietary supplement, has become one of the hottest new "must-have" ingredients in the cutting edge chef's pantry. The unique qualities of Black garlic are the result when whole garlic heads are fermented under heat for several months. The flavor of black garlic can be difficult to describe - slightly sweet, with subtle hints of licorice and fennel, with subdued, but distinctive, true garlic flavor intact. Its chewy-gooey texture is reminiscent of sun-dried tomatoes or cured olives.
Fresh Spring Onions.Spring onions are sweeter and mellower than regular onions, but the greens are more intense in flavor than scallions. The bulbs can be red or white, depending on the varietal, and while they can be used in much the same way as regular bulb onions, they are great grilled, roasted whole, or used like pearl onions.
Fresh Green Garlic. Green garlic is really just a young garlic plant. Green garlic looks very much like thicker scallions or spring onions — they are long and slender with tender green tops, and the white parts can be tinged with pink or purple. If you're not sure if you're looking at green garlic or spring onions, just give it a sniff. The plant should smell like garlic, not onions. Green garlic has a milder, fresher, and sweeter taste than regular hardnecked garlic. The whole plant can be eaten, and it has a spicier, more intense bite than scallions, but can be used in much the same way.
White Cippolini Onions. A stock item when in season, which is typically all year, however, supplies may be short during the summer months. These round, squatty onions are general a half-to-silver dollar size and are terrific when roasted, sautéed, or kabobed. On average, there are 18-20 onions per pound. Mild and sweet in flavor, these onions are sure to be on the tables of gourmets for years to come.
Red Cippolini Onions. Same deep onion flavor as white cippolini but in red. These disc shapped goodies are wonderful roasted with quail or lamb and great on shish kabobs.
White Pearl Onions. Often one cannot find these just when you need them. Especially during the holidays for creamed onions. And for Coq au Vin, boeuf bourguignon and so much more! They are wonderful when paired with fresh sweet peas (snap peas in particular), or when kabobed, roasted, or baked with virtually any entree imaginable.
Red Pearl Onions. Same as White - just red.
Garlic Scapes: Raw garlic scapes are crunchy like green beans or asparagus, but you can eat scapes raw or cooked, whole or chopped. Prepping them couldn’t be easier: Just trim and discard the stringy tip of the scape, then cut crosswise, either into tiny coins or string bean-like stalks. The easiest way to think about cooking with garlic scapes is to use them the way you would use garlic or scallions, although there’s hardly a wrong way to enjoy these tasty tendrils.
Fresh Ramp Bulbs. Ramp bulbs and leaves may be diced and used just as you would use onions, green onions, leeks, chives and garlic, but they are much more potent. They pair well with the following: pasta, eggs, chanterelles and other wild mushrooms, potatoes, stir fried and raw greens, and pork.
Watermelon Radish. Here's everything you need to know about watermelon radishes; they are in season right now, and they're the colorful answer to everything that ails your plate in the late dregs of wintertime. The exterior of a watermelon radish is modest at best and drab at worst. But open it, and all is magic: the interior of this root vegetable practically sparkles with hot pink and vibrant orange. The watermelon radish doesn't actually taste like watermelon. Instead, the flesh, which is green around the exterior with a deep pink to bright red center, bears quite a resemblance to its namesake. Similar to regular radishes, this variety does not have to be peeled before eating.