Garlic - New Season (Wet/Green)

Our impatient wait for the new season Wet (or green) Garlic is usually rewarded in March and the fat-necked, purple-streaked green garlic bulbs are quite special.  Picked at this stage, green garlic needs to be used within a matter of weeks rather than the several months of life of dried garlic, but it is at its sweetest.  You can, after peeling away a layer or two of skin, eat both the white and the pale green stem, discarding only the basal core.  Mild and mellow with none of the hot, pungent qualities of mature garlic, Wet Garlic is perfect for roasting whole with a little thyme, olive oil and a splash of water.  Once cooked, squeeze the roasted cloves to release the caramelised garlic.  Spread on a fried bread crouton or mix with some anchovies melted in a warm pan with butter to make the Italian dipping sauce, Bagna Cauda.