I planted a garlic clove and now I have a nice garlic plant. The question is: Can I use the leaves to season food safely?

The leaves smell like garlic and I wonder if it's okay to use them dried, like oregano and other seasoning herbs. I don't know if will taste like garlic, or if it is dangerous to eat.

up vote 7 down vote accepted

When we have had garlic in our garden I have used the garlic leaves. They do have a garlicky flavor but are milder than garlic cloves. I tend to use them more as I would chives or garlic chives as in addition to having the milder flavor than the cloves they make for a quite nice presentation.

Regarding drying them, I have never tried it. Off the top of my head I can't think of any reason not to dry them for later use but there may be issues that I just don't know about.

  • 1
    I was going to say the same thing so I'll just give you +1 instead. I love garlic greens. I don't imagine that drying them would be worth the work. Regular garlic powder would have the same flavor but stronger. The grassy subtlety that makes garlic greens interesting would be lost. – Sobachatina Aug 27 '14 at 19:25

The green tops of garlic are called 'garlic scapes' (or sometimes, just 'scapes').

They are edible (a kind of garlic/chive mix) and there are plenty of recipes available online that use them.

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    An anonymous user left this comment: "This is incorrect. The scape is the flower stalk of the garlic plant. The rest of the leaves are not scapes. As others said the leaves can be used like chives or garlic chives. Garlic scapes are good as a pesto!" – BaffledCook May 23 '15 at 10:16

One reason I love to plant garlic (In October in the NE US), is that I can use it 3 times during its life-cycle. After planting garlic sprouts. These sprouts (what you might be calling a leaf) can be cut back to ground level before winter and used in cooking...garlicky chive-like flavor and application. Then in the spring, they sprout again. After a while the scape will emerge. The scape is identifiable by a bulge at that top and the stalk is cylindrical, but tends to spiral after a while. Again, the scape can be cut off. These are best sauteed, but have other applications as well. Finally, the mature garlic head can be unearthed, dried/cured and used. Save a head and separate in to cloves for planting again the next fall!

  • my question was regarding the leaves, not the sprouts, but I'm glad to know that I can use them as you suggested. I will certainly plant more next year. I'm from Brazil, so December will be summer, I planted the garlic on July and didn't cut the sprouts, can you tell how long I should wait before it's mature? – Johnny Aug 28 '14 at 12:31

The garlic sprout (or as we call it in persia, leaf) is very popular cooking ingredient in northeren Iran. The northeren Iran cooking style and speciastylehe city Rasht has been aproved by the Unicef as a influencial city in field of cooking and one of our very popular ingredients is the garlic sprout. We take it fry it and then use it in various kinds of omlettes, stews, and so many things. It is very tasteful and uplifiting. I recommend it to all.

I just started growing garlic, and I tried the greens. They are very good. Chive like, but, a bit more flavor and it definitely has a subtle garlic taste. I just keep cutting when I need them. I am assuming the bulb is not hampered in growth.

Yes, you can use the "leaves" of growing garlic. The subtle flavor is perfect for chicken gravy. In fact, I use them much more than the actual garlic itself simply because of their refined flavor.

  • Thanks! I appreciate your answer. What about drying them? Does it keep the flavor? – Johnny Sep 12 '14 at 17:39
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    Yes, you can dry them and the flavor will keep. It is like using dried green onions. – ethalfrida Nov 13 '14 at 17:07

You will use the fresh garlic leaves in any (mixed in ingredients) dumplings. Most popular is Gyoza of Japan. This is likely similar to Nira Leaves.

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I cut the stalks off and take out the hard center part then dehydrate the rest of the leaves.I then put them in the blender when dryed and put it through a sieve.They are milder tasting then garlic but we love it in soups ,sauces etc.Also good to sprinkle in salads etc.Why waste the stocks when you can put them to good use.

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