Fresh Garlic: The Most Glorious Market Treasure
Most people associate July bounty with fresh summer fruit but in my opinion, fresh garlic is the most glorious market treasure. (No disrespect to the fruit; apricots and berries are a close second!) We’ve been harvesting garlic over the last three weeks — selling some fresh at the market by the wheelbarrow-full and curing the rest.
Now if you’re wondering what other parts of the garlic plant are edible, how to cure and store it or what to use your fresh garlic for, read on!
The Harvest Breakdown
Since garlic is planted in the Fall, the first harvest is actually in early spring. Garlic greens, around a foot tall, can be used like scallions. The second harvest is late June/early July when the scapes are ready. Scapes are the delicious, curly flower stalks on hardneck varieties. The third harvest, and main event, is of the bulb itself.
Curing & Storage
Curing prepares garlic for winter storage. It’s the process of allowing excess moisture in the bulb to dry turning the outer skin into a protective papery covering, preventing molding, and sealing in the aromatic oils. We’ve been curing our garlic by hanging bunches in dry, well-ventilated sheds away from direct sunlight. In about two weeks’ time, they’ll be ready! After curing, garlic is best stored in a cool (but not refrigerated), dark, relatively dry environment.
Recipe: Garlic Arugula Linguine
Fresh garlic has a subtler flavour and keeps a lovely, firm consistency when cooked. This pasta toss serves two.
200 grams dried linguine pasta
5-6 cups washed arugula greens, coarsely chopped
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, shelled
2 garlic scapes, chopped
1 small bulb fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp fresh savory, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Start cooking linguine as directed on package. Preheat frying pan to medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and saute sunflower seeds, garlic scapes, garlic and fresh herbs until golden and aromatic.
When linguine is ready, strain pasta and incorporate the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil and arugula. Toss in sauteed garlic mixture, lemon juice, walnuts, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. Plate and enjoy!
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