the moon hits the sky, like a big pizza pie . . .
this week’s recipe(s), lets explore garlic. What an
amazing, funky, medicinal plant it is and as can be
seen here this week it can be used in a variety of ways.
Each with their own merits and each of these three recipes
produces and brings out a different nuance of the garlic.
is it a herb? Is it a spice? Is it a vegetable? I am
often asked “What is garlic?”. Technically is it a spice:
are defined as ‘the leaf of a plant used for seasoning
/ flavouring of foods’
are defined as ‘parts of a plant other than the
leaves that are used for seasoning / flavouring
there again if you use it as a food in its own right
(see my recipe below for Baked Garlic Paté)
it is also classed as a vegetable.
interesting snippets about garlic include:
is supposedly great for the blood and the heart
apparently wards off colds and flu
French will tell you it is also a great aphrodisiac!
has a chemical in it that neutralises the garlic
odour; maybe that’s why the great French cooks always
put plenty of chopped parsley in garlic butter?
to hunt out ‘elephant’ garlic bulbs, they are huge
and make for easy peeling and no more fiddling with
those minute cloves! They have a milder, sweeter
Dean Martin crooned: “When the moon hits the sky,
like a big pizza pie, that’s amore” . . . well a
special lady in my life is called Amo (Te Amohia to
be exact) and she just loves this first recipe and lets
face it, garlic really is a food for lovers as long
as both of you love this wonderful plant. It makes such
a wonderful change to normal garlic bread and cooked
on a barbeque, it gives your outdoor cooking skills
a little boost. As you will see there are endless options
for variations on the same theme also.
this first recipe fresh garlic is a must, please do
not try with those pre-crushed garlic pastes . . . in
fact why not make that a New Year’s culinary resolution
of your own - never to use that convenience crushed
garlic again! Trust me, the flavour of fresh garlic
is best and you will not regret the extra two minutes
it takes to slice or crush your own . . .
treat cooking as a chore, enjoy the time, savour it
as you would the food as it sits on the tongue”
~ Chef Tallyrand
GARLIC AND CHEESE PIZZA BREAD
heat your oven and a baking tray as hot as they will
it up into small ‘buns’
each out into very thin rounds (approximately 1cm
thick), do not worry if they are only roughly round,
it adds to the rustic look and tells your guests that
these are really home made!
each liberally with some olive oil; extra virgin is
slice some peeled garlic cloves and scatter over each
pizza round, sprinkle with sea salt and finish with
a thin layer of grated cheddar
carefully (remember it will be red hot!) onto the
baking tray and bake for 5 - 10 minutes until the
cheese has melted and the pizza base is cooked and
from the oven, allow to cool slightly and enjoy immediately
might not like garlic or cheese, or maybe you like
butter instead of olive oil; so here are some of my
favourite alternatives, why not try your own :
above but with a little seeded mustard added
chopped sundried tomatoes blended with butter
chopped olives blended with butter
and parsley butter
BAKED GARLIC PATÉ
is an interesting use for garlic and as will be seen,
it is best if bulbs with large cloves are used or better
still use an elephant bulb, use one bulb per person.
Do not fret about over powering flavours, baking the
garlic sweetens it by intensifying the natural sugars.
the oven to 220ºC
a very sharp knife, slice the top off each garlic
onto a baking tray and generously drizzle with ‘extra
virgin olive oil’, season with sea salt crystals and
freshly ground black pepper
the tops back onto the bulbs and place onto the middle
tray of the oven, bake for approximately 15 minutes
until the cloves are nice and soft (adjust time according
to thickness of garlic)
the garlic bulb in the centre of the plate, drizzle
a little ‘extra virgin olive oil’ and balsamic vinegar
around the plate and finish with a large sprig of
coriander or flat parsley
it as an appetiser with crisp French bread, crackers
or pizza bread (as above but with no topping).
eat, one removes a clove and gently squeezes the flesh
out of the skin, eat as is or spread it on the breads
BAKED GARLIC BANANAS
dish is a popular breakfast dish on many of the South
Pacific Islands here, where plantains may be used (special
small, green, immature bananas) but any slightly unripe
bananas my be used. The garlic clove may be peeled or
un-peeled and I suggest trying the dish with each and
finding which suits your palate best:
the oven to 180ºC
a very sharp knife, pierce 3 to 6 holes in each banana
just large enough to push a garlic clove in
a garlic clove through each slit
onto a baking tray and drizzle with extra virgin olive
onto the middle tray of the oven, bake for approximately
15 minutes, the bananas should not be allowed to discolour
/ brown too much
with toast and maple syrup
me next week for another great garlic recipe, but until
then . . . have a great week and eat healthy.
and bon appetit . . . . .
quantity (add to taste)
meaning a whole one of
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