Cooking with Garlic
Garlic is one of my favorite herbs! If you haven't been a fan of garlic, give it a second chance. It can be roasted, blanched or used raw for different levels of pungency.
Garlic is available year round, but is freshest between March and August. The bulb is planted in the late fall and harvested in the spring and summer. Even if you don't grow it, which I don't, it is readily available in the stores.
Choose heads that are firm to the touch, and do not have green growth on them. Do not refrigerate, but store in a cool, dark place.
We usually find white or California late garlic in the store. Another type that has reddish purple skin, is called Red, Mexican or Italian garlic. These cloves are smaller and some say a little stronger. Be sure to try each variety that you find in your area, but they can be interchanged in recipes.
Garlic mellows with roasting or blanching. Add cloves to boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes, crush, then add to your favorite dip or spread.
I sauté thinly sliced garlic in butter or olive oil, add chopped sage and cooked green beans for a wonderful side dish.
Minced garlic can also be added to any stuffing dish. Cut small slits in your pork or beef roast before cooking and insert half cloves to season.
When making soups that call for sautéed onion, I always throw in minced garlic too. For the frugal cook, it's indispensable!
One interesting note: the elephant garlic that is popular is not a true garlic and is actually much milder than white garlic.
About the Author
Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer, wife and mom to three living in the Midwest. She is also editor of http://oldfashionedliving.com, where you will find articles on gardening, herbs, crafts and other old fashioned topics.