It’s a skill, growing garlic.
Farmers direct seeded it last fall with care, the tips of the seeds (cloves) pointed up. They planted it before the ground was frozen, but while it was still warm enough for roots to establish. They pushed the seed deep enough to protect it from harsh winter temperatures, but shallow enough to let it emerge with vigor in the spring.
While it grew, they watered, weeded, and fertilized. They harvested its flower stalks (scapes) to help the plants develop large bulbs. They watered some more and weeded again if there was time (there’s never time). And now, after ten months or more in the ground, our farmers are harvesting, curing, cleaning, and prepping the garlic for market.
When you bring home a bulb, or three, appreciate that it took nearly a year of skill and care for it reach your kitchen counter! And then make something delicious. We recommend slow-roasted garlic confit to add a summery kiss of garlic to whatever you have may have on the menu (recipe below).
Slow-Roasted Garlic Confit
Slow roasting garlic turns the pungent cloves into something more tender, golden, and sweet. In garlic confit, the roasted cloves and garlick-y oil can take on a life of their own, in whichever dish you choose. Use the cloves to top a pizza, spread them straight on grilled bread or mash them potatoes. Use the oil as a base for salad dressing or to marinate olives or feta. Choose your own garlic adventure!
This recipe does require you turn your oven on, but it’s very low, we promise.
3 heads of garlic, cloves separated, peeled or unpeeled*
1 ½ cups exra-virgin olive oil
Thyme sprigs, rosemary sprigs, or bay leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 130°. Place garlic, herbs (if you’re using), and oil in an 8×8″ baking dish or a small saucepan. Cover with foil and bake until garlic is tender, 60–75 minutes.
Let cool and peel if you haven’t already before roasting. Transfer cloves and oil to an airtight container and let chill. Can be kept in the fridge for two weeks.
*You can roast your cloves peeled or unpeeled. The skin helps keep unpeeled cloves moist and jammy in the oven, but peeling before roasting is a bit cleaner and less oil-y.