Saturday, June 16, 2012

Preserving and Using Garlic – June 16, 2012

We had a beautiful harvest of garlic this week.  We grow softneck garlic so we can braid and hang them in the kitchen as we use them (just pull off a bulb as needed).  After you dig up the garlic, pull off the outside leaves carefully until you get to a layer that is clean.  Then lay out the garlic bulbs with stems and braid.  You will need to braid the garlic within the first two days.  Once the garlic dries out, it will no longer be pliable and the leaves will just break off when you try to move them.  You can hold tight once braided with a rubber band and ribbon.  Before braiding, you need to select and set aside plenty of the largest garlic cloves because these will be what you plant to harvest next year.  Keep these in a cool dry place to dry before planting in the Autumn.

Now that you have all this garlic, why not try:

Anchovy and Garlic Dip
4 oz. canned anchovy fillets
2-4 garlic cloves, cut in half
½ c. softened butter
1 T. olive oil
fresh parsley to taste

Place all ingredients except parsley in blender and mix.  Garnish with parsley and eat with fresh bread.

If you prefer to grow hardneck garlic, there is another great advantage.  Hardneck garlic shoots up garlic scapes (kind of space age flowers) that are a delicious mild version of garlic.  These scapes are great in a frittata, stir fried with vegetables or tossed in a salad.  You just cut off the flower and stem and chop it all into a recipe.

Garlic Scape Frittata
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 T. milk
1 T. olive oil
¼ c. Gruyere
4-6 chopped garlic scapes

Mix eggs, salt and pepper and milk with whisk.  Heat oil in pan to medium high.  Pour in egg mixture.  Preheat broiler to high.  Sprinkle cheese and scapes on top of eggs and stir gently.  Once the frittata starts to brown on bottom, move to broiler and cook until top is set and starts to brown.

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