Great Garlic Recipes

Aubrey Vaughn
September/October 2007
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Whole or diced, roasted or raw, garlic is good for your tastebuds and your health!
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Garlic. The word alone stirs the senses with memories of powerful aromas, zesty flavors and memorable, savory meals. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't enjoy this punchy allium, and you might be surprised at the range of dishes that are improved by it. Breads, sauces, appetizers and entrees ? just about everything short of cheesecake takes on a bold, flavorful taste with this versatile kitchen staple.


But garlic does more than add flavor: It's been used for food and medicinal purposes since at least 3000 B.C., renowned for its powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties. As the realm of holistic health has grown, it's now also recommended to help prevent heart disease (it can lower cholesterol and blood pressure) and even cancer. In The Green Pharmacy, James A. Duke, Ph.D., suggests garlic to treat allergies, athlete's foot, diabetes, colds, the flu and more.


You can easily enjoy the numerous benefits of garlic, for the palate and body, by growing your own this season. Fall is a terrific time to plant garlic, and come summer you'll be rewarded with large, flavor-packed heads ready for nibbling, cooking and preserving.


Garlic is simple to grow. Good soil, full sun and watering every few days are its main requirements, and garlic doesn't attract many insects ? it can even deter them from other crops! If the plant begins to flower, snip the stalk to keep growth energy directed to the bulb instead. You'll know it's time to harvest when the tops of the stalks start to brown.


Served as an appetizer, spread on bread, or mixed in mashed potatoes, one of the simplest, most useful garlic preparations is roasted garlic. These basic recipes are adapted from Growing and Using Garlic, by Glenn Andrews.


Roasted Garlic


1 whole head garlic
1 tsp olive oil


Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Slice off the top fifth of the garlic head. Place the head on a medium-size square of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Drizzle the olive oil over garlic. Seal the foil securely. (Unless you want your whole house to smell of garlic, don't crumple the foil too much; this would create cracks through which the aroma could escape.) Bake for 40 minutes, the garlic should be golden brown.


Garlic also makes a yummy, easy hummus:


Hummus


1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzos)
Water


1/4 cup lemon juice
1? teaspoons garlic, minced (about 3 cloves)
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste, available at most supermarkets)
Salt to taste


Soak the chickpeas overnight in enough water to cover by at least 1 inch.


Drain. Cover amply again with fresh water. Boil for about an hour, or until very soft. Drain again. Put chickpeas, along with lemon juice, garlic, tahini and salt, in a food processor or blender and run the machine until the hummus is smooth. (You may have to add a little water, one tablespoon at a time, to make the mixture thin enough to process. The consistency you want is similar to mayonnaise.)


Serve as a spread or dip for pita chips or triangles of toasted pita bread. Makes about 2 cups.


Learn more about garlic varieties and growing, braiding, cooking and preserving garlic in the Growing and Using Garlic e-handbook from Mother Earth News.


Share your garlic recipes and growing tips in the comments section below.



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Post a comment below.

 

Alicia Kelso
10/2/2007 12:00:00 AM
Re: EOlson looking for Garlic seeds/How to grow your own garlicYou don't need, or really want garlic seed, unless the stores near you don't have the kind of garlic you want. You can order online by searching on "grow garlic" to find resources.Just go to the store and get several whole, ripe heads of garlic, especially grab some that show a little green tip trying to poke through the dried skin.Break off the cloves that are sprouting, leaving the base intact where it broke from the head. Put the cloves in moist planting soil deep enough to cover the top by about a 1/4 inch, so approximately 1 inch deep. Water gently so as not to uncover the tops of the cloves when you water.These will sprout when they're ready to start a new head, sometimes in a week or two, other times in a few months -- it depends on the season and weather in your area. Planting 20 or more cloves is wise. It takes about a year for my garlic to become a full head, I noticed. If I get impatient and pick it early, it's one giant clove instead of 13-15 attached cloves.COOL NOTE: Garlic is great to plant around your garden to prevent aphids. So, I put 2 or three cloves next to each rose bush, around basil and pepper plants and I get natural protection. So, anywhere aphids are eating your bounty, put cloves 4 inches apart, surround the plant, make a border (as garlic is decorative all by itself), et cetera. It's the most inexpensive and eco-friendly way to protect your garden from bugs, gophers, maybe rabbits and possums, as well. Oh, and plant new sprouting cloves as you harvest the full grown heads, alternating so that you always have garlic at full maturity and new to maintain the protection at all times.

Elizabeth Olson
9/25/2007 12:00:00 AM
You say that garlic is easy to grow. What kinds do you recommend for baking? Where can I get some -- most of the seed companies are out of stock or are running out of stock on anything that they recommend for baking. Thanks. EOlson

D Williams
9/24/2007 12:00:00 AM
Hummus is also good with a wee bit of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil mixed in....mmmmm....

jayaraj rajaguru
9/23/2007 12:00:00 AM
I am from India. Taking one garlic pearl (we used to call)in the empty stomach early in the morning with abundant water will reduce cholestral level considerably. Garlic and ginger are main spices used in Indian cusine.

Zohra Rawling
9/22/2007 12:00:00 AM
Another great way to roast garlic is to slice off the top and set them right at the edge of your fireplace while enjoying a nice fire. Roughly 12 inches from the flame to start. If it is too close it will split and ooze pulp, but if you feel it is roasting too slowly, move it a little closer.

ROGER Kenyon
9/21/2007 12:00:00 AM
I read recently that in order to get the best health responses from garlic, it should be pressed under a knife blade to remove the skin and then left 10 minutes. This action of pressing lets the alliin convert to allicin which is what does you good. If you dont do that, you will get some of the effect but not the whole effect.

STEPHENIE Dagnino
9/21/2007 12:00:00 AM
I press the garlic with the flat of a knife, and let it sit with salt on it. That way the garlic is softened and crushes in to a paste easily.








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