Friday, December 01, 2006

G is for...

G is for Garlic.
Who: Garlic.
What: A vegetable closely related to the onion, shallot and leek. Garlic is most likely descended from species Allium Longicuspis, which grows wild in South West Asia. Garlic has been used throughout all of recorded history for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
When: Garlic is available in markets year round. If you want to grow your own, plant in fall or early winter to harvest in spring/summer.
Where: There are more than 600 sub-varieties of Garlic grown and sold around the world. It pretty much depends where you live for what you'll get.
Why: Garlic is good for you. Besides fighting off those pesky vampires, garlic contains Vitamin B and Allicin. It may also help to fight off colds, reduce cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.

Real garlic-heads can go to the Gilroy Garlic Festival held every summer in Gilroy California. The next festival is July 27, 28 and 29 2007.

Next time you're in San Francisco or LA, check out The Stinking Rose Restaurant. I've always wanted to visit Antonio's Garlic Clove here in Calgary.

Roasted Garlic
Roasting garlic really transforms the sharp fiery bud into something smooth and mellow. Spread it on pieces of baguette for a fast appetizer, fold it into mashed potatos, or try adding it to soup before pureeing.Cut just the bare top off a whole head of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves. Place on a piece of foil and drizzle well with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and wrap in the foil. Bake at 350' for 1 hour. Unwrap carefully, let cool until it's easy to handle, and squeeze out all that goodness.

Tomato Bruschetta Pasta
1 head roasted garlic
1 small red onion diced
4 large tomatos, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tb anchovy paste or olive paste
1 tb dijon mustard
2 big pinches of dried basil or small handful fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tb fresh lemon juice
big handful of kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
16 oz dried pasta
6 oz cheese, like feta or goat cheese

In a large bowl squeeze out the garlic pulp. Add the tomatos thru olives. Toss together and let sit at least 2 hours, overnight is better. If you refrigerate the sauce while it is sitting, bring it to room temperature before you cook the pasta.
Cook pasta, drain and toss with the sauce. Crumble in the cheese and serve.
Makes 4-6 servings.

Garlic and there a better match in the food world?

Sweetie Shrimp
for 2 people or 1 really hungry one.

14 shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 garlic cloves minced

Toss all ingredients together and let sit for 20 minutes. Heat a grill pan and spray lightly with non-stick spray. Cook over medium high heat for 2 or 3 minutes each side, until just cooked through.
Serve immediately.

Broiled Lemon and Garlic Shrimp
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tb olive oil
10 garlic cloves, chopped
salt, if desired
1 lemon

Toss the shrimp with the oil and garlic, and let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat broiler and cover broiler tray with foil for easier cleanup. Broil shrimp, turning after 3 minutes, until pink. Move shrimp to a bowl, toss with pepper and salt if desired, and squeeze fresh lemon juice over. Toss again and serve.

Previous Alphabet Posts:
A is for Artichoke
B is for Beet
C is for Carrot
D is for Dogs
E is for Egg
F is for Fondue


Mandy said...

Yummy! I am enjoying your alphabet. I am wondering what you will do when you get to the tough letters like q and u and z!!!

peabody said...

Ah, garlic...a good one for G...and Mandy I think she would do quince for Q...X is what I want to see :)

Vincci said...

Quinoa and quark would also be good choices for Q... but for X... xiaoshing wine?

Lis said...

I can't live without garlic, that's for damn sure. I love the recipes too! Especially that spaghetti - yum!

Pamela said...

Garlic is definately one of my all time FAVOURITE ingredients!!

Shaun said...

Sara - I'm so glad that you chose to showcase garlic for "G". Eric and I use it in almost everything because it is so versatile. I recently made a "Party Food" dish for Weekend Cookbook Challenge # 11 that features garlic - bagna cauda. A few days later and reheated, the garlic is even more caramelized...Yummy.

Nerissa said...

Oh my! I do love garlic. Wish my dearest did too. Dang Northern French and their abhorrence for the glory of garlic.

Sara said...

Mandy, Peabody and Vincci - hmmm, I haven't thought that far ahead yet. Uh-oh.

Lis - it is soooo good.

Pam - mine too.

Shaun - great minds think alike! Your bagna cauda looks very inviting.

Nerissa - really? I haven't met anyone who didn't love garlic, much less a country side full of them!