The name garlic comes from garleac, or "spear leek" and although it's origins are still debated, it is a member of the lily (Liliaceae) family and related to chives, onions, leeks and shallots and has been used for thousands of years making this pungent herb is one of the oldest cultivated plants.
I Gar-lic You Alot!
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Appetizer, Side Dish, Pasta
The name garlic comes from garleac, or "spear leek"
and although it's origins are still debated, it is a member of the
lily (Liliaceae) family and related to chives, onions, leeks and
shallots and has been used for thousands of years making this pungent
herb is one of the oldest cultivated plants.
Garlic was revered by the Egyptians as a God and used as a currency to pay workers building pyramids. In addition, it has been used for medicinal purposes, believe to be an aphrodisiac and of course we all know it wards off evil and vampires at bay!
Garlic is also really easy to grow
because it grows well in a wide range of climates and
soil conditions. it is also quite hardy and disease resistant to the
point that we grow it both for cooking but also use it to companion
plant coupled with onions and chives as it's smell deters pests and some
Types of Garlic
are two main types of garlic; hardneck and softneck. The hardneck
garlic plant products a flowering stalk called a scape. The scape starts
the base of the bulb and follows up through the neck resulting in the
neck of the bulb to be hard. Although the hardneck is more flavorful and
easier to peel, they do not store well.
garlic, the most common variety and found in most grocery stores,
generally do not
flower and form seed, and may produce bulblets on their stem. They
are easier to grow and if stored in a cool, dry place, will last six to
eight months. Oh and the elephant garlic? No, it's not real garlic. It
is actual a leek and is a member of the onion family.
We use garlic in one form or another in most of our recipes but the roast garlic with Bacon n' Pepper
is one of my favorites. You can serve this with crackers or eat the
caramelized roasted cloves rightout of the heads, or mash them up and
use them with pasta or in your favorite dip. Regardless, the truly is
the best way to use garlic! And although we won't use if for this
recipe, I have to share my favorite garlic tool. We discovered it while
taking a Thai cooking class at Sur La Table and if you use garlic? This
tool will change your life. You can find it here.
One or more whole heads of garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Bacon n’ Pepper
Preheat your oven to 400°F
Remove the outer paper layers of the bulbs
Cut 1/4 to a 1/2 inch from the top of cloves to expose them
Place the bulbs in a muffin pan and cover with foil
Bake for 30 minutes or until the cloves are tender
Remove from the oven, remove the foil and sprinkle with Bacon n’ Pepper and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
Let cool then use a knife to cut the skin around each clove and use a small fork or you can just squeeze the garlic out.
The muffin tin helps keep the garlic in place.
Melt your favorite butter and add the roasted garlic for an amazing spread for potatoes and vegetables!