Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Garlic Marks the Turning Point

I have a bowl full of fresh garlic bulbs on my kitchen counter. It is a vegetable that can be stored for a long time if it stays dry. For me, this marks a turning point when items are stored for the long winter months ahead. Living in New England, that conjures up thoughts of reading by the wood stove, shoveling to get to the car, baking pumpkin bread...

I'm still looking back at summer and when garlic was just beginning to grow. In June, I used garlic scapes in all my recipies that called for garlic - the result was more of an scallion taste, but I fell in love with the gentle twist of the scape and it's fragrant smell and used it whenever possible.

Looking forward, here's what to do with this nice bowl of garlic:

1- Place it in a covered dish and bake it for as long as you can. When cooled, squish out the soft garlic onto hot bread!
2- Chop it up and toss it in a pan with butter - I use Keller's REAL butter - great stuff! Pour onto a loaf of bread that has been sliced. Wrap in tinfoil and bake until dinner.
3- Chop, chop, chop and use in stir - fry with all the leafy greens still growing this season.
4- Toss it into the cuisinart with basil leaves, pine nuts, cheese and olive oil for yummy pesto.
5- If you're not crazy about the smell of garlic on your hands - rub lemon juice on your fingers when you clean up.

Garlic scapes dredged in porcelain slip make a wonderful pattern on a platter.