Archive for June 13th, 2009

The First Garlic

june 2009 008
I think it’s underappreciated that garlic is as seasonal as any other vegetable. Sure, you can obtain it throughout the year, and personally I’m never without it, but the great dishes of sheer garlic debauchery- aioli, roasted garlic, chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, etc.- were designed to be made with fresh garlic, the kind you harvest in early summer, before it develops the slight (sometimes pronounced) acridness that comes with storage.
I grow three kinds of garlic, and one of them is Chinese Pink, which I get from Territorial Seeds. It’s a nicely flavored hardneck type, and I grow it because it matures fully a month earlier than any other garlic that I’ve grown.

See my earlier posts on green garlic and using the scapes of hardneck garlic for other uses of the maturing garlic plant, but by June the Chinese Pink is mature and I’m ready for some garlic confit. The confit process involves long, slow cooking at low heat in fat, olive oil in this case. The result is soft, mellow, and intensely flavorful without the sharp punch of raw garlic. It will keep in the refrigerator for a good long time as long as you make sure the cloves are well covered with oil.

Click here for the recipe!
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