I’m left with garlic to discuss today as the “G” vegetable because I can’t find any other vegetable that starts with a “G” except globe artichokes and ginger. I know nothing about globe artichokes and may feature ginger if I blog about herbs and spices.
I don’t mean to imply that garlic isn’t a worthy topic. In fact, just the opposite is true. I love using garlic and can’t imagine cooking without it. Like many cooks, I started my love affair with garlic knowing only about garlic powder or garlic salt. I don’t suppose I ever saw a head or clove of garlic until I was 25. I now know that the taste of the powders and salts are nowhere near the same as that of the real McCoy, and I make sure that I have at least 2 heads of garlic in my pantry at any time.
Although used primarily as a seasoning or condiment, it is also the basis of some recipes. The city of Gilroy, California, (“Garlic Capital of the World”) observes a Garlic Festival every summer and culinary specialties featuring the “Stinking Rose” infuse the air with the scent of garlic. Two tons of fresh garlic appear in food dishes prepared by the 4,000 volunteers. These dishes run the gamut from soups to desserts as entrants from across the US and Canada submit their favorite garlic recipes to be judged each year.
Last year’s winning recipe was Proscuitto Wrapped, Roasted Garlic, Fest & Rosemary Stuffed Mushrooms. It sure looks like it should be a winner! I’ll try it sometime.
I use garlic to flavor mashed potatoes as do many people. I found it not necessary to chop or mince the peeled cloves before cooking. I just throw them in the pot of water with the potatoes and they tenderize and get mashed when the potatoes do.
Here is a recipe for garlic soup from Gourmet magazine, MAY, 1994.
2 cups water
1 cup garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup chopped peeled potatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
Whipping cream (optional)
Combine first 4 ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Puree in batches in blender. Season with salt and pepper. Rewarm over medium heat. Drizzle with cream, if desired.
I have made garlic soup before, but I don’t know it the above recipe is the one I used. If I were to use this recipe, I might be tempted to use chicken broth in place of some of the water. I’ll try it someday. In the meantime, tonight’s chicken breasts will be flavored with garlic, parsley and lemon. That should keep me safe from vampires for the night.
Garlic image from Science News
Bela Lugosi image from http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/~kayhan/