Oh Garlic. There is something truly captivating about this ingredient. It's been in almost every cuisine that I have read about from every corner of the world. Garlic is in its own category when it comes to ingredients and seasonings.
Last week I had learned about a really fantastic event happening in the Annapolis Valley called Garlic Fest. Basically a bunch of local garlic farmers had harvested and were ready to sell their goods. There were rows and rows of tables selling garlic in many states, hot sauces, and other craftware. It was a dream location for me, a voracious eater of all things garlic.
I learned a lot aboutgarlic just perusing the tables. There are hundreds and hundreds of different varieties, I truly had no idea. Some are sweet, some are onion-y, and some are akin to a hot pepper. I tried many different items and ended up purchasing three different types of garlic:
Spanish Roja: This is a strong flavour that is sticky and strong. Because of it being so high in oil, the heat from the garlic sticks around awhile.
Korean purple: This is a mild garlic that is closer in flavour to slightly roasted. It isn't as sharp, but it is very sticky and oily so the flavour is long lasting. I used this one in the recipe below.
Purple Stripe: This is one of the strangest ones for me. It's sweet, like...almost candy sweet. It's great with tomatoes, or whole roasted and spread thick on crackers. This is actually used in garlic ice cream (which was available at garlic fest) and it's shockingly delicious.
And now, for my favourite garlic-forward dish that I dream about.
This was introduced to me by my friend Lara at one of our camp friend potlucks. It doesn't look pretty on a plain plate (she always had a beautiful plate to present it on and it was dreamy) But boy, it is absolutely delicious. It is extremely garlicky, it's got A LOT of flavour but it is one that I keep thinking about after I eat it. I served this to friends last night, and reminded them that it is pungent. I used 6 cloves of the Korean Purple garlic that I had purchased that day. As a note: you can NOT use powdered garlic in this. It is strictly a fresh garlic recipe.
Garlic & Goat Cheese Spread
- 1 log of plain goat cheese
- 5-6 cloves Korean Purple garlic (or whatever you have on hand) finely chopped
- 1.5 tbs Italian seasoning
- 1.5 tbs soy sauce
- 1.5 1bs red wine or balsamic vinegar
- 1/2-3/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf of crusty baguette bread
- Slice goat cheese in 1/2" slices and lay out on a large plate that has curved sides (A small baking dish works well as long as the goat cheese is spaced a bit.
- Mix the oil, vinegar, garlic, seasoning, soy in a glass and mash the garlic lightly with a fork
- Pour oil mix over the goat cheese 30 mins before serving.
- Serve with sliced bread and a spoon to make sure everyone gets a bit of the sauce and seasonings
I don't have a photo of the one I made last night. If you'd like a photo, let me know and I will HAVE to make it again.