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Friday, August 7, 2009

Garden Sun~Roasted Garlic

It's garlic, shallot, and onion season and my husband dutifully had been picking the garlic and shallots. He began picking them last week prior to the nearly week-long stretch of searing, record breaking heatwave in the triple digits, which is not all that common for these parts of Oregon. He last spring he painstakingly rototilled, mulched and created rows for this "pet" garlic and planted each one (of about 100 cloves), just as specified by "Gardeners Annonymous" LOLL. There were so many garlic plants, that I offered to help if needed, which he graciously declined. He wanted to see this whole process through from beginning to end, and I had no problem with that. Because there were so many, as he dug each garlic head out, he put them in a pile to process later, and he figured they could nicely "cure" there in the sun.

Well as the story goes, my husband got sidetracked with other of his many projects and the pile of garlic had been forgotten...and left in the sun. I just came across them just yesterday, and with a laugh and taunt on my part, we decided to finish processing and storing them. In the kitchen he and I worked, destemming them, peeling off the outter layer of garlic skins that were in contact with the soil, and neatly trimming the root ends. When he began doing so, he discovered the cloves of each head to be somewhat soft to the touch, and yellowed.. instead of the firm white cloves we all know. Upset and beside himself, the whole bushel of garlic nearly made it into the compost pile. However, upon further inspection and not without my additional laughter, we realized they had been quite literally cooked in the sun.

We investigated further, smelling and tasting... and we were very pleasantly surprised to find that the cloves were very similar to traditional oven-roasted garlic! Pleasant, mild, roasted garlic with tons of fresh flavor! The pile of garlic heads spent about 4-5 days of 100+ degree heat but are very edible and tasty SUN-ROASTED garlic!

For dinner, we decided to sample this gift from the sun. We finely minced the sun-roasted garlic and creamed it with butter, then spreading it on sourdough bread. That along with garden cucumbers & tomato salad was our simple, healthy and deliciously light dinner. Because the shelf life is not long once the garlic is roasted, we decided the put them in jars with white distilled vinegar and dill and processed them in a hotwater bath to seal them. A little bit of sunshine to enjoy in the dark days of winter.

Sometimes it's a good thing to make the best of an unexpected situation!

Simple things.


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