Tags Posts tagged with "garlic"


Roast Pork with Garlic and Rosemary

By Barbara Beltrami

Garlic. Is there anyone who doesn’t love it? It has long been known to keep vampires away, and some say that it also, like the apple, keeps the doctor away. In fact, wise women and men have been touting its health-preserving properties for ages.

To name but a few of the myriad ancient civilizations that put their faith in its medicinal and culinary benefits, as far back as 1550 B.C. the Egyptians were prescribing no less than 22 garlic-based remedies for physical ailments. Good old Hippocrates swore by its use as a digestive aid, and my nana claimed, as did yours I bet, that it warded off cramps, colds and hiccups. And it certainly wards off other people, particularly if you breathe in their faces after you’ve eaten it.

As well as its medical virtues, garlic has a spate of gastronomic ones. If cooked properly and not allowed to burn or if used only in its freshest form, garlic can be intense and sublime. It makes a pork roast regal when combined with rosemary; a simple pasta sauce that uses an olive oil base splendid; and is a terrific compliment to vegetables, meat, poultry and shellfish. For the ultimate garlic experience, try cream of garlic soup.

Roast Pork with Garlic and Rosemary

Roast Pork with Garlic and Rosemary

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


8 to 10 garlic cloves

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, defoliated

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

One 3- to 4-pound pork loin roast, bones in (allow at least one bone per person)


Place garlic, rosemary leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper in bowl of food processor and pulse to create a coarse paste. Place pork in roasting pan; rub the paste on all surfaces. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F. Roast pork uncovered for approximately 30 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer reads 170 to 185 degrees. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Carve between the bones to create individual pork chops. Place on serving platter; reheat pan juices and pour over chops. Serve with roasted potatoes and a hearty green veggie.

Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil

Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


10 garlic cloves

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

½ teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes

¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 pound good quality spaghetti


Mince half the garlic and coarsely chop the other half. Place all in a medium skillet with the oil, parsley, anchovy paste and pepper flakes and heat, stirring constantly, until the garlic sizzles but has not begun to brown. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large pot cook spaghetti according to package directions until it is tender but firm to the bite (al dente). Drain, place in a large bowl and toss with the garlic and oil mixture. Pass grated cheese separately. Serve immediately with a crunchy mixed green or tomato salad or sautéed broccoli rabe or escarole.

Cream of Garlic Soup

Cream of Garlic Soup

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 onions, coarsely chopped

4  garlic bulbs, peeled and mashed

1 quart chicken broth or stock

½ pound stale French or Italian bread, sliced

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs fresh thyme, defoliated

6 ounces cream

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large saucepan melt butter; add onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat for about five minutes, until onion becomes transparent but garlic doesn’t brown. Stir in bread slices, bay leaf and thyme leaves.  Add broth, stir and simmer 20 minutes; remove bay leaf and discard. Remove mixture from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Place in small batches in food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pot. Add cream and stir but do not allow to boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot in winter or cold in summer with crusty bread, cheese and a kale or spinach salad.

Note: This article is adapted from one written by the author for this publication in 1990.

By Ellen Barcel

Dear readers, Ellen Barcel passed away on Sunday, July 16. She was 72. A wonderful teacher, writer, mentor, gardener and friend, Ellen was an integral part of TBR News Media’s family and will be missed terribly. This is her last gardening column.

Garlic, Allium sativum, is in the onion genus, Allium, and is related to chives, leeks and shallots. It has been consumed for several thousand years and is a native of the area from around the Mediterranean Sea all the way to China.

Garlic’s edible blossoms, which are white or pink,
are milder than the bulb and are delicious in salads. Stock photo

Garlic is generally planted in autumn, about six to eight weeks before the expected hard frost date. Note that the average first frost is early November in Suffolk County, meaning that in general you will plant your garlic in mid to late September. Garlic is then harvested in late spring or early summer. Burpee notes that once harvested, garlic, in general, keeps for up to 10 months.

There are a number of varieties of garlic that can be grown by the home gardener. For example, Spanish Benitee is known to be mild, with long storage ability, while Killarney Red, with its strong nutty flavor grows well in wet conditions. Elephant garlic has a milder flavor with enormous bulbs that can each weigh up to a pound. Burpee’s Best Spring are suited to spring planting while Early Italian is adapted to summer heat. Italian Late matures later than other varieties and is a long keeper. It makes sense, as you do with tomatoes, to plant a number of varieties, at least initially, until you decide which flavors and other qualities you like best.

Although garlic is a flowering plant (and yes you can eat the flowers), the easiest way to grow garlic is from bulblets, but seeds are available. The flower stalks are known as scapes. To send the energy of the plant into the bulb, the part you will be eating, cut off these scapes, usually in June.

In selecting the type of garlic to plant, you may notice the terms softneck and hardneck. Softneck garlic grows best in areas with mild winters while hardneck varieties are better adapted to cold winters. Garlic doesn’t like to compete with weeds, so weeding is one regular chore you need to complete.

Garlic can be grown in most soil types but does like plenty of organic matter, so add compost and/or manure to the soil. While you do not want to overwater your garlic plants, remember that much of Long Island’s soil is very sandy and garlic does like evenly moist soil. You may need to supplement rainfall in times of summer drought.

Garlic also does best in a near neutral soil pH (7). So, test your soil, and if like most Long Island gardeners, it’s very acidic, you need to sweeten it with lime. If you are just establishing a garlic bed, look for lime that works quickly (read the package directions) as some limes can take many months to break down and be usable by plants.

Harvest your garlic when about a third of the leaves have gone brown. Once harvested, you need to cure your garlic. Lay it out in a warm, dry (but shady) place for several weeks, then store it ideally at 50 to 60 F. How long your garlic will keep depends on the variety, anywhere from four to 10 months.

The 14th annual Long Island Garlic Festival is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Garden of Eve Organic Farm, 4558 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. Held rain or shine. Expect garlic food, live music, demonstrations, workshops, Iron Chef garlic competition, garlic eating contest, vendors and more. Admission is $5 per person; children under 6 are free. For further information, go to www.gardenofevefarm.com, or call 631-722-8777.