Fresh from the garden our local farmers are harvesting a bumper crop of garlic. Vampires might not like this news, but most of us terrestrials certainly do. Garlic is used as the base ingredient for so many savory and delicious dishes, from sauces to dips, spread on freshly baked bread, make pesto, hummus, or drizzle some EVOO on top and bake an entire bulb to its sweet, caramelized perfection.
Garlic is not a stranger to many regional and cultural mainstays, it’s just about worshipped in China, who leads the world in its production (49 billion pounds) and consumption, although Americans imported 199 million fresh pounds of that garlic. Why buy imported when you could buy some from a locally grown source? Garlic is about the easiest crop to grow yourself, you just have to think a year or so ahead, source good seed, and get it in the ground around Halloween time (or before the ground is too cold). To source, we suggest you give Tyler Montague and Holiday Dalgleish from Keep it Real Vegetables a call or seek them out at the local Farmers Markets. As you can see below, this year’s crop is booming!
My favorite way to use up fresh garlic is in a batch of fresh basil pesto, which can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks or frozen in blocks or ice cube trays. Handle while preparing with gloves—unless you like the smell of garlic on your hands. I don’t mind it too much… 😉
Jen’s Fresh Basil Pesto
- 1/2 lb. fresh basil leaves washed and stemmed (parsley is nice in there too)
- 1 cup EVOO
- 1 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese or vegan option (nutritional yeast powder)
- 4-6 cloves or 1 entire bulb of fresh garlic (it depends on how garlicky you like it)
- 1 Tsp. Salt
- Black Pepper to Taste
Combine all into a food processor, blend until creamy and voila, you made pesto which is better than any of that refrigerated $$$ stuff anywhere else.
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