Monday 8 February 2010

Garlic from the Garden

One thing that grew particularly well in the Cabbage Patch this year was the garlic. So much so, in fact, that I planted about 30 this year, so I’m thinking if we eat 0.58 of a bulb / head a week, it’ll last all year! That’s the theory behind it anyway, so I was very upset to notice that although my onions are doing particularly well, despite their crushing by the snow, the garlic shoots weren’t even up. Until, that was, James Martin commented on the fact that the garlic shoot season is just beginning, and, sure enough, when I ran up the garden to see, the tiny little purple shoots had just poked their heads up above ground!

From The Cabbage Patch

You might ask why I’m so excited by this? Well, it’s the fact that it’s such a versatile and tasty ingredient: You can roast it, whole or in cloves, with or without skin; it can be finely chopped and added to taste in pasta sauces, cottage pies, etc; or be the main ingredient itself, as in aioli.

After trawling my blog for recipes including garlic, I found over 23 entries, and that’s not including the ones before I learnt that adding tags was a good idea!

From The Cabbage Patch

Gino D’Acampo uses garlic or onion, but never both, in fact, it’s his fourth rule, learnt from his teacher at catering school who said to him, “The secret of a good dish is respecting the ingredients that you use.” Once Gino understood the “unique flavours” of the two separately, he never cooked them together again. Now, I sort of see his point: they are both distinct flavours with their own individuality, but why those can’t be combined, I’m not sure. When you flick through or search for my recipes that include garlic, more than not, you’ll find they also include onions, (unless it’s a Gino one, like the Gnocchi Pomodoro!), and they taste good, on the whole.

So, as for using it alongside onions, you’ll have to make your own decision. As for Garlic’s use as a main ingredient, or even to add a little something extra, you’ll find no substitute.

Gino D’Acampo quote taken from ‘Fantastico!’, Gino D’Acampo, Kyle Cathie Ltd, 2007.

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Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
Merlotti x

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