“It is not really an exaggeration to say that peace and happiness begin, geographically, where garlic is used in cooking” X.Marcel Boulestin (1878-1943)
One of my favorite ways to enjoy garlic is roasted. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Take a bulb or bulbs and peel outer wrappers until one or two wrappers still cover the cloves. Drizzle olive oil on the bulbs; wrap bulbs in aluminum foil. Place on center rack in the pre-heated oven and slow roast for 45 minutes. After roasting, unwrap and squeeze contents of clove of piece of warm French bread and enjoy with your wine of choice. If you have roasted bulbs or cloves left over, tightly wrap them and store in fridge. I found they keep quite a long time.
Other ways to use roasted cloves:
Use the roasted cloves as a spread on sandwiches to give your sandwiches a special taste.
Puree in hummus and serve with pita chips.
Spread on hamburger bun for great hamburgers
Spring Garlic Bruschetta
1 demi baguette, cut into 12 ½” slices
3 plum tomatoes or tomatoes on the vine, seeds scraped out (don’t worry if some remain)
4 spring garlic cloves, outer layers peeled away if necessary
2 tbsp olive oil
Fresh basil leaves finely chopped or dried basil
Roast the spring garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then roughly chop. Dice tomatoes into small pieces and mix with garlic, olive oil and basil. Add salt and pepper if necessary. Spoon mixture onto slices of the baguette and cook at 350 degrees for 5 – 10 minutes or until the bread has browned on the edges. Serve warm.
Recommended beverage: A young Chianti wine
Green Garlic Fettuccine
Cook your choice of pasta according to package directions; add a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt to the water. As the pasta is cooking, heat a lump of butter in a skillet. Finely chop as much green garlic as you like (warning: it shrinks down) and add it to the pan of butter. Use the white and light green parts plus about an inch of the leaves of three stalks (for one serving). Cook on low heat until softened, about five minutes or so. Add a splash of pasta water, cover, and turn off heat while pasta finishes cooking. Stir drained pasta into green garlic mixture, along with another lump of butter and plenty of freshly grated pecorino romano (or asiago or parmesan). Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with more grated cheese and a few finely chopped garlic leaves if desired, and serve it up quickly–or risk finding yourself standing in the kitchen with a fork and empty bowl in hand and a very confused look on your face.
Recommended: Serve with a buttery, toasty Chardonnay wine.
Spring Garlic and Potatoes
1 lb or roughly 8 – 10 new potatoes, Red, Yukon, Blue, or Fingerlings or quarter cut potatoes you already have
3 spring garlic cloves, trimmed and cleaned, coarsely chop cloves and green leaves.
2 Tbsp olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste
Rinse potatoes under cold, running water. Place them I the top of a steamer over simmering water. Cover and steam until potatoes are fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
While potatoes are steaming, sauté garlic in olive oil until just tender but not browned, about 1 minute. Remove garlic from the heat but leave in the pan with the oil to keep warm. When potatoes are tender remove them to a serving platter and using a fork, break each potato into 3 or 4 pieces. Sprinkle potatoes salt and cracked black pepper to taste, then top with sauté garlic and oil.
Green Garlic Pesto
½ pound green garlic
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp. salt or more to taste
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly shredded pecorino cheese or other hard sheep’s milk cheese
1. Trim and discard root ends of green garlic. Finely chop green garlic, rinse thoroughly and pat or spin dry.
2. In a large frying pan over medium high heat, cook vegetable oil, green garlic and ½ tsp sale until soft, about 3 minutes. Let cool to warm room temperature.
3. In a blender or food processor, pulse pine nuts to shop. Set aside. Add green garlic and process, scraping down sides as necessary until bright green and smooth. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil. Pulse in reserve pine nuts and cheese. Taste, and add more salt if you like.
Makes enough to coat 1 pound linguine
Serve with a zippy, lean Sauvignon Blanc
This one is my favorite:
Spring Garlic, White Wine and Shrimp
3 – 4 spring garlic, cleaned, trimmed and finely chopped, include some of the green leaves
White wine of choice, but not cooking wine
About ½ lb shrimp, fresh preferred, or use frozen, peeled and cleaned
Optional – fresh parsley, couple sprigs, finely chopped
In a sauce pan, melt couple tablespoons of butter. Add chopped spring garlic and cook on low heat until softened. Stir in a cup of white wine and allow reducing to thin sauce. While that’s cooking, pour yourself a glass of the wine and enjoy the aroma. Add shrimp and cook until pink, don’t overcook.
Serve right immediately by itself or over angel hair pasta. Top with sprinkle of parsley.
Serve with white wine, if there is any left.
Additional ways to use spring garlic:
Coarsely chop a stalk and add to salad greens, or to salad dressing
Topping with sour cream on baked potatoes; add to stir fry for delicate garlic flavor