you cannot escape the garlic

…nor should you.

While it is good for chasing the vampires away, garlic is also great for flavor to most savory recipes.    I finally discovered that it also incredibly easy to grow!  Now is a very good time to plant your garlic so it can overwinter in the ground.  I try to plant at least a dozen cloves of my garlic from a previous year, pointy side up, at the end of the garden that would otherwise get a couple of marigolds.  I should really plant more.  If you have any questions about planting or harvesting garlic, consult A Way to Garden.  Margaret, through her website, has given me much confidence on what to do in my garden, and this is where I learned the quite simple task of planting my own (hard neck) garlic.  The added bonus is that you harvest garlic scapes earlier in the spring as well as the heads of garlic in the summer.

Once you’ve finished planting next year’s garlic, head over to the 1st Annual Garlic Day at the Hudson Farmers’ Market, happening this Saturday, October 13 (9am – 1pm).  This is great for those of us who were too lazy to drive over to the festival in Saugerties earlier this year…

So what do you do with your garlic?  I’m still trying to take advantage of the bounty of our farmers’ market before we’re limited to winter squashes and potatoes (and I am NOT complaining about having to eat mashed potatoes and butternut squash soup).  (An aside – Autumn is just flying by this year – wasn’t it just Labor Day???)  So what is my favorite dish this time of year?  Ratatouille!  It’s a very forgiving dish, so if you can’t find zucchini or don’t like peppers, just add more of the other vegetables.  It’s lovely served on couscous, or with good crusty bread.  My favorite recipe is here.

Or perhaps you just need a simple, comforting bowl of garlic soup.  This recipe has always captured my imagination.

Need more garlic ideas?  Our local Chef’s Consortium did a post on garlic recipes from Chef Ric Orlando.  Mercedes at Hudson Farm Box recently sent a recipe for garlicky broccoli rabe and pasta with her weekly email.  Try all the garlic recipes in Gourmet and let me know once you’ve gotten through them…  Good grief, you’d better stock up on garlic.

And if you don’t feel like cooking, take a head of garlic, cut off the top and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap in foil and roast in the oven until soft and lovely.  Smear on crusty bread.  Drink wine.

Doesn’t that sound better than wearing a garlic necklace?

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