by Emma Roth-Schwartz
Here it is, the column I have been waiting all year to write. Sometime in the next two weeks or so, you will start to see fresh locally grown garlic in your garden or at the Farmer’s Market. My favorite source for bulbs to plant offers over 40 varieties, from mild (elephant garlic, which is not really garlic at all – it’s a leek) to explosive. I grow purple Italian easy-peel for its sweet flavor and no-fault aftertaste, and for its keeping qualities. It’s a soft-neck variety, which means it keeps better than the hardnecks.
So, to celebrate the season, here is an assortment of garlic recipes, each with its Twilight Rating based on the amount of garlic per serving, which determines the degree of vampire protection estimated for each:
From Cook’s Illustrated
(No, you don’t need to buy a garlic roaster.)
1.Remove outer papery skins from 2 heads garlic; cut top quarters off heads and discard. Wrap garlic in foil and roast in a 350-degree oven until browned and very tender, about 1 hour.
2.Once roasted garlic is cool, squeeze cloves from their skins. You should have about ¼ cup.
3.Add roasted garlic with the chickpeas in the recipe below for unlimited lifetime vampire protection.
From Cook’s Illustrated
3 T lemon juice
¼ c water
6 T tahini (sesame paste) available at most food co-ops and many supermarkets
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 – 14 oz can chickpeas
1 small garlic clove (about ½ tsp) minced or pressed through garlic press
½ t table salt
¼ t ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
Cilantro or parsley for garnish
1.Combine lemon juice and water in small bowl or measuring cup. Wisk together tahini and olive oil in another small bowl or measuring cup.
2.Process chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. (You can do this in a blender; it will take longer, and you will want to add the lemon juice/water mixture right away.) Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute if using food processor. With machine running, add oil/tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
3.Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with cilantro or parsley, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with more olive oil and serve with pita chips or stuff into pita bread with your favorite raw summer veggies. We like tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and garden purslane.
Pesto or more, depending on how much garlic you use.
You have to wait until the fresh basil season to use this recipe, but it will be worth it. Watch for basil in August, although this year it might be a bit late.
1 head of garlic (at least) roasted and squeezed, or raw pressed through a garlic press
About 3 cups of very very fine minced fresh basil,
Don’t use your blender for this; the heat of the blade affects the taste of the basil
A cup of fresh flat-leafed parsley, if desired
¼ - ½ cup pine nuts, toasted in olive oil, drained, and chopped fine
Reserve the olive oil you used for toasting; add it to the pesto
Salt to taste
Additional olive oil if needed
Mix everything together and serve stirred into cooked pasta. Add slices of prosciutto or other thin-sliced ham if desired.
Creamy Alfredo Sauce
1 cup milk or half & half
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup flour
4 T chicken broth
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 or 2 cloves of roasted and squeezed or pressed garlic to taste
¼ t pepper
¼ t salt
Combine all ingredients except Parmesan cheese in a saucepan. Cook over low heat until mixture thickens; stir constantly. When thickened, add cheese and serve over cooked spaghetti or fettucini. Add cooked mushrooms, fresh or reconstituted dried, for an extra treat.
Roast Beast or more, depending on how much of the garlic you actually consume
Leg of lamb roast, whole roasting chicken, beef pot roast or pork roast
Vegetables of your choice
A couple of heads of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1.Add whole heads of garlic, outer layers of papery skin removed, to whatever vegetables you usually put with your roast. The garlic will roast itself in the time it takes to cook the meat, and be ready to squeeze out when you are ready to squeeze it.
2.Tomatoes are especially good as a base for the roast. Diced canned tomatoes are okay, but fresh-from-the-garden are best.
3.Add some fresh herbs: rosemary is wonderful with lamb, tarragon is great with chicken, thyme and beef love each other, and savory is classic with pork.
Cook as usual, or according to directions in your favorite cookbook. Our copy of The Joy of Cooking is dog-eared and spotted with memories of past feasts.
This column of good eating is brought to you by members and friends of the Winona County EDA Local Foods Committee and UM Master Gardeners. Questions or comments? Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org .