Fresh garlic. Never grown it, never tasted it, never cooked with it. Fresh, homegrown garlic is still a little tough to find in Australia, or so we thought until we moved to the Highlands and came across a few growers via Instagram – Russell, the Good Garlic Guy, just down the road at Kangaloon and Mandemar Garlic at Mittagong (who’s garlic we ended up planting in our vegie patch in March this year). We discovered there are three varieties that grow well in our area (and which we think we planted!): Italian Red, Italian White and Monaro Purple.
We also soon learned about garlic scapes – those funny-looking stalks which, as it turns out, have all kinds of culinary uses. A Google search threw up The Spruce website that explained all about garlic scapes. We found some other good tips and simple recipes for scapes at Epicurious and bon appetit (with storage suggestions too). However, Moza simply cooked some on charcoals. The verdict? “So sweet and mild”.
In thinking about when to harvest the bulbs and how to store them, The Spruce came to the rescue again, with advice on how to harvest and then dry fresh garlic for later use.
So, a successful crop and one we’re very much looking forward to growing a lot more of, with a little help from Russell. We’ve even been busy moving the chooks around our future garlic patch to ready the soil and get it well-fertilised for our next planting in March 2018.
And, while I’m in San Francisco (why? have a look here), I plan to check out The Stinking Rose, a dedicated garlic restaurant where even the desserts are made with garlic. If I survive I’ll post more here!