Garlic!

This weekend at the Natick Farmers Market, every vendor table had bunches of garlic for sale. I’d been desperately seeking out overwintered garlic the past few months, but no one had any left. Overwintered means living matter that is stored or lives through the winter, such as plants or animals, and in this case it means garlic that was harvested last year, stored in farm cellars and parsed out over the winter months. Luckily, my garlic drought came to an end when I received almost two dozen bulbs of garlic through my Stearns Farm CSA share.

Alice Kathryn Richardson Clean Food Club

Garlic has lots of vitamins and fiber, and it can boost the immune system and lower blood pressure. It was even used as an antiseptic during WWI and WWII, and some cultures believe it can incense sexual desire. It has been regarded as a tool for good and evil; in mythology, garlic is used for warding off werewolves, vampires and demons. One Ancient Roman theologian wrote that it could be used to treat too much heat from the sun, but of course, I still recommend sunscreen and staying hydrated!

In my house, we use it as a quick and easy way to add flavor; I mince it up and throw it in the pan with chicken, vegetables, and anything else that I sauté. This past week, however, I went a little garlic-crazy and used it in ways that I never have before. I made a fresh pesto with garlic, kale and basil, a tzatziki sauce with garlic and cucumbers, and whole roasted garlic bulbs, all of which I received in my CSA share. Roasting the garlic makes it soft and easily mashable, which is perfect for adding to potatoes, raw hamburger patties, or soups. You can mix it with butter, mayo or homemade hummus, but I love spreading just the roasted garlic on a thick piece of French baguette or other crunchy bread.

Alice Kathryn Richardson Clean Food Club

Despite over-compensating for my recent lack of garlic, I’m going to have a lot of bulbs left over. I’m planning on saving some to use as far into the fall and winter as I can, and to do that, it needs to be cured. Leave the stalks and roots on, and sit or hang in a dark, well-ventilated space or outdoors in a shady, breezy spot for 3-4 weeks. Once the tops and roots have dried, cut them off and store in a cool, dark place.

Homemade Summer Pesto

Makes six servings

Total time: 10 minutes

In my basket:

1 head Kale (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)

4 cloves Garlic (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)

1 bunch Basil (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)

From the pantry:

½ cup Parmesan grated cheese

¼ Walnuts

½ cup Olive oil, divided into 2 portions

Sea salt to taste

  1. Add kale, basil and salt to a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend, then use a spatula to scrape down the sides.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil, then add garlic and walnuts. Pulse a few times to blend, then use a spatula to scrape down the sides.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, then add parmesan. Pulse a few times to blend, then use a spatula to scrape down the sides. Add as much olive oil as needed to reach desired consistency
  4. Spread in sandwiches, use to top fish, or dip bread into it for a quick snack. Enjoy!

Alice Kathryn Richardson Clean Food Club

Tzatziki Sauce

Total time: 20 minutes

In my basket:

2 Garlic cloves (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)

1 Cucumbers, peeled and sliced (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)

1 bunch of Dill (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)

From the pantry:

8 oz plain yogurt

2 tbsp Olive oil

½ Lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until well blended.
  2. Transfer to a separate dish, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour so flavors combine.
  3. Serve with meat, fish, burgers, sandwiches, mashed potatoes, vegetables, or dip pita bread into it for a quick snack. Enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Bulbs

Total time: 40 minutes

In my basket:

1 whole garlic bulb (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)

From the pantry:

2 tsp Olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Peel off the papery skins from the bulbs. Slice the top off the bulb so that you can see the individual cloves.
  3. Place bulb cut-side up on a baking sheet or in a muffin tin (the small holes for muffins keep the bulb right-side up). Drizzle each bulb with olive oil.
  4. Roast 30 minutes or until the garlic is soft and browned.
  5. Spread over bread or mix into potatoes, pastas, soups, or eat it straight out of the bulb. Enjoy!

Suggestions for using garlic? Post your recipes below and I’ll give you a shout out!

 

Creator Alice Kathryn RichardsonAlice Kathryn Richardson is a new media photojournalist based in Boston, MA. She created The Clean Food Club on May 1, 2016, and previously spent two years working on Deserts in the District, a series of short-form documentaries exploring food access and hunger in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter @AKR_Pictures.

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