Garlic is a small vegetable with a big punch of flavor. Garlic is most often used for seasoning dishes and homeopathic cold remedies, but can often be eaten on its own. Garlic is related to the onion and grows in a bulb with a flat, plump bottom. Each bulb contains a cluster of garlic cloves, each wrapped in a tissue like skin. Each cluster contains 6-12 garlic cloves. Garlic varies in color, but often is white, yellow, or even purplish.
Best Storage Practices:
Garlic can be kept nearly 7 months and can be stored out openly or in the refrigerator. Store garlic in its skins for best preservation.
Fun Ways to Eat and Cook:
Garlic, raw or cooked, is a great addition to any meal. Add it to sauces or veggie medleys for seasoning, roast whole for a sweet mellow flavor, or add it raw for a zesty addition to crostini, grain salads, or antipasti.
Garlic should be undamaged with no loose, missing, or broken cloves. The flaky outer shell should be intact. When selecting garlic look for firm bulbs.
Why it’s Good to Eat:
Garlic is a good source of iron, zinc, and potassium. If eaten in good amounts, garlic will help support health by providing vitamin c and dietary fiber.
When it’s in Season:
Garlic is planted in the fall and overwinters in the ground. Garlic is ready to harvest between spring and fall of the following year. Because garlic can be dried and stored, garlic is often available year round.
How it’s Harvested:
Garlic may be harvested when the leaf tops begin to discolor and dry. To harvest, pull garlic by its top from gently loosened soil until the bulb is removed. Garlic is then sold as green garlic, or cured for longer storage.
Garlic Chips - finely slice garlic clove. Cook in oven on pan with oil and herbs. Cook until crispy lightly browned. Top soup, dip, salad, or pasta with toasted garlic chips.
Garlic Greens - Brown minced garlic in a pan with olive oil. Add chopped greens (kale, spinach, collards, etc.) and sauté until bright green and tender. Season with salt and serve hot.