A recipe for roasted garlic is by no means new but it is delicious and versatile and you can make it with local garlic that is now in season. Maybe you've forgotten how good it can be?
I am also posting this recipe to remind people to buy Ontario garlic as there is not that much of it available and the flavour towers over the papery, dry Chinese garlic offered for sale in the stores over the winter. Last fall I bought 50 heads of Ontario garlic and I ran out early June - that is roughly one head per week. I stored it in mesh bags in a cooler part of my basement and it kept very well. You have to store it in a dark, cool place in a basket or mesh bag that the air can flow through.
In Ontario, only 160 to 200 hectares are planted with garlic these days, according to the Garlic Growers Association of Ontario, and most of it is sold at roadside stands, farmers markets, garlic festivals and a few independent grocers. In 2001, in contrast, we grew 1,600 hectares of garlic, but that was before our market was flooded with garlic from countries like China.The link below describes black garlic being introduced into gourmet markets but it is also my reference for the sad decline in Ontario garlic production http://www.thestar.com/article/692602
As for home-prepared mixtures of garlic in oil, Health Canada recommends that these be made fresh for use and not left around at room temperatures. Refrigerate leftovers for use within 7 days, freeze or discard. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/food-aliment/garlic-ail-eng.php
Visit your local farmer's markets to buy fresh, local garlic. Ontario garlic (not necessarily local) is usually sold by L'Amie nursery out at the Junction in North Bay. Local garlic from Warrren was also on an order sheet recently from the Dalew Farm who deliver into North Bay. Email them for a product list and delivery schedule.
Dalew Farms, 10781 Hwy 64, Lavigne, ON, P0H 1R0. Tel: (705) 594-1823 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know of other sources to buy local Ontario garlic please post them in the comments area. With our buying power I hope that we can stimulate local farmers to grow more of this delicious culinary essential.
5 whole heads/bulb garlic
2-3 Tbsp (30-45 ml) olive oil
Salt, ground black pepper and rosemary (or other herb like oregano)- a good sprinkle on each bulb
Preheat oven to 350’F. Cut the sprout or pointed end of garlic flat keeping the bulb in tact and place in baking dish. Drizzle bulbs with olive oil and sprinkle each with a pinch of salt, pepper and dried rosemary or oregano. Bake 45 minutes. Squeeze out of the garlic skins using your fingers. Serve warm or cold.
Bread Dipping Variation: To serve as a condiment for good bread, place 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the mashed roasted garlic in a saucer and pour over 2 Tbsp (30 ml) each XV olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs and hot chili if you like. More salt and fresh ground black pepper can be added as well. This is a chance to use your pretty saucers that don't seem to get used and appreciated.
To make a roasted garlic oil puree the roasted mashed garlic from 5 heads (as prepared above) with a cup (250 ml) of XV olive oil. Store in fridge. Combine with balsamic vinegar for a salad dressing or bread dipping sauce.
NUTRITION FACTS (per 1/2 head or 5 cloves): 50 calories, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 8% vitamin C, 2% each iron and calcium. Of course garlic has many other nutritional and medicinal properties which don't show up in the typical computerized nutrient analysis!
© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc
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