Green garlic is one of the first harvests for spring veggie lovers. As the mellow, floral cousin of regular garlic, it pairs wonderfully with salty miso in Chris Pandel's compound butter. We love it dolloped it on pan-seared mushrooms: the caramelized umami flavor lets that fresh, spicy green garlic shine.
Blanch green garlic: In a small pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and generously season with salt until it has the salinity of seawater (about 3 tablespoons). Separate green parts of the green garlic from the light green and white parts. Roughly chop the greens and blanch them in the boiling water until tender, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop 3 of the reserved green garlic stems, discarding the tips of the roots; set aside. Zest the lemon directly into the food processor.
Compound butter: Once greens are tender, use a skimmer to scoop them into the food processor. Add the juice of the zested lemon, a pinch of salt, miso, and butter. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides halfway through. Fold in the white parts of the green garlic, and spoon compound butter into a small bowl. (Note: Compound butter will last up to a week in the refrigerator or a month in the freezer.)
Mushrooms: Clean mushrooms by wiping them with a damp kitchen towel. Quarter them, stems and all. Set a pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Once it’s smoking, add enough mushrooms to cover the pan without overcrowding. Add a pinch of salt, and toss to coat evenly. (Cook the mushrooms on their cut sides for better caramelization.) Once the mushrooms have shrunk a bit, about 1 minute, add remaining mushrooms. When they look caramelized, after about 3 minutes, lower the heat and add 2 tablespoons of compound butter. Toss to coat and continue to cook, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.