Saturday, April 30, 2011
Spring in Israel means many things of course, but one of them is the delightful, delectable, gorgeous (and did i say fragrant?) purple w/green and white stalks fresh! garlic.
I almost missed them this year...not that i wasn't aware they were on the scene and in the markets, it's just...well, i had a lot on my mind and many things to do, and simply mused over the idea that maybe i would skip them this year.
Thank God i woke up in the nick of time to rush to the shuk (yes even though they are available in the supers, one does NOT buy fresh garlic anywhere else but the shuk. For pete's sake. No way.) It was the end of the season, but LOOK! how beautiful they still are. I even went back the next day and bought some for a "present" for a friend who was traveling outside the country and knew she would be sad to think she missed them.
I only hang a few to dry but one can buy fresh bulbs without the stalks for a while yet....beats the chemically dried white variety imported from China...
The taste of the fresh garlic is similar and used in all recipes that call for garlic, but..it is delicate, slightly sweet and more mild. It also stays sweet and doesn't become bitter when sauteing it. I like to use cloves of fresh garlic when pan frying or poaching salmon. Very nice.
To honor the fresh garlic i've included a couple of recipes. One, fresh garlic confit, from a wonderful blog called Israeli Kitchen, and a video for a simple chicken/fresh garlic dish from Ynet Foods (Phyllis Glazer.) My friend Micha Finkelstein sent me this video and while I haven't made it yet, he said it was wonderful and i trust his culinary opinion! Enjoy!
The Video:(Video is in Hebrew but there is an English writeup if you click on this hyperlink -it will remove you from the blog to the webpage)