Green garlic has a window of about a month at farmers markets. At the beginning of the season, the bulbs look more like leeks or spring onions than garlic, as they have not yet set cloves. To prepare them, you just cut away the stalks as you would a spring onion, then cut them in half and remove any tough stalk that might be running down the middle, remove the papery outer layers, and finally chop them like they were scallion or leeks. Green garlic can be used in the same way you might use the green parts of scallions — in salads, omelets and pasta dishes, for example. The resulting frittata has a fluffy texture. This can be eaten cold or hot, and it’s easy to pack for lunch.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut in small dice
2 bulbs green garlic, trimmed of stalks and papery layers, sliced - if you can’t find green garlic use scallions instead
6 eggs
1 cup whole-milk ricotta
1/4 cup minced or snipped chives
Freshly ground pepper


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy 10-inch non-stick skillet and add the bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, for around 5 to 8 minutes until it is tender. Add the garlic and salt to taste and cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes until tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the ricotta, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in the chives, red pepper and garlic mixture. Pour in the egg mixture. Swirl the pan to distribute the eggs and fill evenly over the surface. While shaking the pan gently, tilt it slightly while you lift up the edges of the frittata with a spatula in your other hand to let the eggs run underneath during the first few minutes of cooking.

3. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes, shaking the pan gently every once in a while. From time to time remove the lid and loosen the bottom of the frittata with a wooden or heatproof spatula, tilting the pan, so that the bottom doesn’t burn. The eggs should be just about set on the bottom; cook a few minutes longer if they’re not.

4. Meanwhile, heat the broiler. Uncover the pan and place under the broiler, not too close to the heat, for 1 to 3 minutes, watching very carefully to make sure the top doesn’t burn (at most, it should brown very slightly and puff under the broiler). Remove from the heat, shake the pan to make sure the frittata isn’t sticking and allow it to cool for 5 to 15 minutes. Loosen the edges with a wooden or plastic spatula. Carefully slide from the pan onto a large round platter. Cut into wedges or into smaller bite-size diamonds. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or cold.

Yield: 6 servings.


Advance preparation: In Mediterranean countries, flat omelets are served at room temperature, which makes them perfect do-ahead dishes. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for a few days and make terrific lunchbox fare. However, they do not reheat well.