Garlic broth an especially good recipe for when you’re not feeling so good. (Thank you for this one, Dad. Love, Trish)
2 heads of garlic
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
A handful of fresh herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, thyme, and/or sage)
Salt, freshly ground pepper
- Fresh garlic cloves, a few heads
- Filtered (non chlorinated) water
- Kosher or another non-iodized salt
Peel as many cloves as it takes to fill the glass or ceramic (not plastic) jar you are working with (pint, quart, FIDO, crock, etc).
Create a salt brine by dissolving the salt in the water. Use ½ teaspoon of sea salt for each cup of non-chlorinated water. Add the brine to the jar to cover the cloves. Use a small plate/jelly jar w. brine/bakers pie stones/whathaveyou to weigh down the garlic and keep it submerged in the brine. Put the lid on the jar loosely and set it on your kitchen counter.
If you are using a mason jar, open the jar once a day to release the pressure created by fermentation. This is not necessary to do with a water-sealed crock or a FIDO jar. When you do this, your kitchen will smell very strongly of garlic, especially once the fermentation really gets going. It might take a few days to a week for fermentation to begin. You can tell when you see tiny bubbles in the brine (or you see/hear your crock burp). After a bit, the brine will take on a lovely golden-brown color.
Be patient. Let the garlic continue to ferment for a month – or two for best results. We find it helps to add a label to the ferment container with what it is AND the date started and date to finish. (Otherwise: Jeremy grumbling in the kitchen, “Patricia! Arrrgg. What IS this?!? How long has this stuff been rotting on the counter?!”)
When you decide that it is done, store the brine and garlic in a lidded jar in the fridge.
This year (2018) we’ve grown 9 different varieties of garlic. Here are brief flavor descriptions for these varieties:
Music: A superior garlic imported from Italy in the 1980’s by Al Music. Music has a multi-layered flavor, an initial sweetness followed by a pungent earthy hotness. The taste is a medium hot, true garlic flavor that lasts for a long time. Music has stunning, large, easy to peel cloves making it extremely kitchen-friendly. Most of what we grow is Music.
Spanish Roja: A rocambole type (reddish skin) loved for its seductive depth of flavor. This is a Slow Food USA Ark of Taste variety from the Pacific Northwest. The flavor is sweet, rich and complex when cooked. Raw, it is hot (like most garlics), but there is a sweetness that comes through, not common in other garlic varieties.
Purple Glazer: Vivid, royal purple tinged with shiny gold and/or silver hues, a very attractive garlic. As a sub-variety of Purple Stripe, Purple Glazer has a strong lasting flavor, but not hot and no aftertaste.
Chesnok Red: Easy to peel, long cloves with beautiful purple stripes and mild flavor. One of the best tasting baking garlics, it is very sweet and tasty when cooked. Chesnok Red adds a sweet garlic flavor without heat to dishes. It has a distinct smell, more like a roasting sweet onion than a garlic.
Czech Broadleaf: An artichoke (softneck) variety, with sweet and mild flavor when cooked. Full, pungent garlic flavor when raw. Cloves are creamy colored with a hint of pastel red blush on bulb skin.
California Early: This is one of the most common garlic varieties grown. Mild with a classic garlic flavor. Excellent for baking. We began trialing this variety in 2016, from Beth and Nathan at Meadowlark Hearth.
Inchelium: An artichoke variety with a mild pungent taste with a medium level of spiciness, in other words “mild but lingering flavor with a tingle.” This one is great baked and blended with mashed potatoes. We began trialing this variety in 2016, from Beth and Nathan at Meadowlark Hearth.
Killarney: this is a new-to-us variety, seed from our friend Austin who is a master garlic grower in Montana’s Flathead Valley. We’re still growing this out, saving seed, expanding our plantings, and hope to have it available for sale in the future. Killarney is a Rocambole garlic, it’s described as having an excellent strong, nutty flavor.
Zemo: this is another new-to-us variety, seed from our friend Austin. We’re still growing this out, saving seed, expanding our plantings, and hope to have it available for sale in the future. Zemo is a Porcelain garlic and is described as having large creamy white cloves with pink tinting and spicy flavor; high allicin content and medium heat; excellent raw. Originally from the Republic of Georgia.
Storage tip: Store in a cool, dark place – for long term storage, 45-50 deg. For green garlic, keep in an airtight container in the fridge or leave it out for a day or two. It’s best before it dries out.