Thursday, July 2, 2009

Under Pressure

Garlic has always been a big part of my cooking. There are those who always have onions in their house, or bread, or pasta. I always have garlic. Most of my life, I ate my dad's roasted chicken that had been marinated in a mixture of Maggi and minced garlic. All of my pasta dishes have some sauteed, minced garlic or roasted, whole cloves. One of the first recipes I tried from watching the Barefoot Contessa was her Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic recipe. In Los Angeles, there is a place called the Stinking Rose where garlic is the theme for every dish. They also carry a roasted chicken that boasts forty cloves of garlic too. When I was younger, I used to hear about this restaurant and imagine how fancy this place in LA was going to be. Then I finally got my chance to go there and walked into an entry way that had a gift shop with Stinking Rose t-shirts and mugs. Sadly, I realized it was just another theme restaurant for tourists who were in town visiting Hollywood and Disneyland. The food was not good at all.

But really, most of my cooking relies on a little bit of garlic in it. So imagine my reaction when my friend Ragini asked me last Sunday at the Dupont Circle Farmers market if I have tried "fresh garlic." "Of course I've used fresh garlic." Ragini then hands me this tiny, pale yellowish-white bulb. The skin of the garlic is moist and translucent. And the smell...the bulb smelled like it had been freshly minced even though the skin was fully intact. I have never worked with garlic so fresh. And now...I'm stuck. What do I do with it? I don't want to cover it up with any sauces. I want to use it in its purest form and really enjoy this gift. And now there is all this pressure to not waste it...What should I do with it?


  1. Bite into it like an apple.

  2. I actually have friends who eat garlic raw because they think its good for you. In the end, I minced up the fresh garlic and added it to a vinagrette. Its sweeter than other garlic I have purchased.