From Plot to Plate: Garlic

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I'm gonna come right out and say it.

You cannot beat home grown fruit and veg. 

And now, as the summer days are here, I am beginning to reap my first ever harvest from my allotment. The garlic and onions I planted back in October are looking fine and just about coming into season. The onions need some more time, but I lifted my first row of garlic this week. Some perhaps too early as I was being over enthusiastic to eat my first homegrown crops, but they're out now and I have a rows worth of garlic that needs eating or storing. 

Eating Garlic

You can eat your garlic wet (fresh) or you can cure it for storing and use later in the year. As the row I picked up was 7 or 8 bulbs I've decided to store most but use a couple immediately. So without further ado here is my (one of my) favourite way(s) to eat garlic.

Rosemary & Garlic studded baked Camembert with new potatoes and other things to dip

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2 or 3 (or more) cloves of garlic, sliced

2 or 3 sprigs of rosemary

round of camembert 

as many new potatoes that you want to eat

bread, carrots, other cheeses, broccoli, anything else you want to dip

For the cheese

  1. preheat your oven to 180C/ gas mark 6
  2. take the Camembert out of its packaging
  3. cry that one of your favourite cheeses is really hard to find in sustainable packaging
  4. pop the round into a camembert baker (they are a joy, everyone should have one) or back in its box
  5. stud the cheese with slices of garlic and the rosemary until you're happy
  6. maybe add a splash of white wine on top
  7. put in the oven till all goey 
  8. eat! 
 
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For the accompaniment

  1. bring a large pan of water to the boil and salt till it tastes a bit like you've been to the beach (careful it will be hot)
  2. wash your new potatoes gently, leaving the skin on
  3. once your water is boiling add your potatoes and bring back to the boil
  4. cook till a fork easily pierces them, do not overcook else they will fall apart in your cheese
  5. drain and let cool/ dry off 
  6. prepare any other things you might want to eat
  7. serve with your camembert
  8. enjoy!

Wine Pairing: I would go for a Syrah or Cab Sav or Shiraz. Sauvignon Blanc or an oaky Chardonnay if you're going white. You'll need something full-bodied.

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Storing Garlic

Hands up, I've never done this before. This is my first ever crop so here comes the learning curve. From what I understand you have to leave your garlic to cure first then you can store them. Curing means leaving them somewhere whilst the energy from the leaves goes into the bulb. Then you clean them up and if, like me, you're planning on plaiting them get on with that. Or you can trim the leaves off and store them as bulbs. Keep an eye on my insta @shallottheplot where I will undoubtedly be documenting my attempts at curing, plaiting and storing garlic...

Vampires and Garlic

This is a myth, a vampire will take one look at you waving garlic about and think you want to be flavourful when eaten. Drop a bucket of lentils outside your door instead, they can't move past till they've picked them all up, and then they will still have to ask to come inside and by this time hopefully the sun will be up. You're welcome.

 

Peace, love & cider

Charlotte

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