We LOVE Garlic!!!


I love Costco. I love it for a lot of reasons, but this week I loved it for the fact that I could buy a huge bundle of sweet garlic for $3.00! I pondered for a mere second and decided GARLIC KNOTS! Garlic is amazing. Garlic is believed to ward off heart disease, cancer, colds, and flu. The consumption of garlic lowers blood cholesterol levels and reduces the buildup of plaque in the arteries. It is also just plain delicious.

The real reason for today’s recipe is actually the excuse to bake bread! Now, I love bread. I mean I have sick addiction to this carb filled food. I know I shouldn’t feel this way. Bread to me is the epitome of comfort food! I am not in denial that it is not exactly figure friendly and I work really hard every minute on the treadmill or every mile on the road. But today I gave in a little, but just a little. I enjoy garlic almost as much so the tempting duo is just about too much to bare. Don’t worry, I made these a bit lighter by adding extra virgin olive oil and 1/3 of the flour is whole wheat! I also took it easy and used the bread machine! ~ Mel

Garlic Knots


•     1 ¼ cups water

•     2 tablespoons olive or canola oil

•     3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

•     2 tablespoons sugar

•     5 huge cloves chopped garlic

•     1 teaspoons garlic powder

•     1 1/2 teaspoons salt

•     3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

•     2 cups bread flour

•     1 cup whole wheat flour

•     2 teaspoons active dry yeast

•     1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted

Directions

In bread machine pan, place all ingredients by order given, except the melted butter. Select dough setting(check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed). When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 18 portions. Shape each into a 5 inch rope and make a little ½ knot. Place on lightly sprayed baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes or until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Brush warm knots with melted butter (or even garlic butter for super garlic flavor). Enjoy them!


G is for Gilroy Garlic

Another garlic favorite for me comes from the garlic capitol of the world Gilroy, CA and nearby Monterey, CA. I’ve driven through the great salad bowl of the west several times, and each time there are a few things we have to get. One is french-style Fried Artichoke Hearts from the Giant Artichoke in Catroville, CA -the artichoke capitol of the world. Another is some fresh seafood at the Wharf in Monterey, CA. My husband’s favorite is fresh Smoked Salmon right off of the smoker, and my favorite is sampling all 20+ different varieties of Clam Chowder. But the star of our little trip is always the Roasted Garlic on the Monterey Wharf. The garlic coming from Gilroy is served with fresh Sourdough Bread inspired by San Francisco about 2 hours to the north. That is our favorite, and I enjoy it so much I had to make it at home.

Roasted Garlic is far different from your standard garlic flavor. When you roast garlic it turns sweet and mild, and is easily spreadable. My favorite thing to do is eat it with some nice sourdough bread and salted butter outside on the Wharf, it goes wonderfully with the seafood and salty air of the ocean. Other favorites include making garlic bread out of it, using it in pasta sauces, and eating it whole with a touch of salt. I know, if my mother has an addiction to bread, I have one to garlic, but it’s a love-hate relationship. I love its very different flavors and uses, but I hate that my breath smells of garlic for hours -good thing my hubby loves garlic too! ~ Vanessa

Roasted Garlic

1 Bulb of Garlic (you can roast more than one at a time)
1 Tbs of Olive Oil
1 Tbs Kosher Salt (or other coarse salt)
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Thyme (or any favorite Italian seasoning)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375. Take the extra outer paper-like skin off of the bulb of garlic, but leave the clove skins intact. Use a knife to make one clean cut, chopping off the tops of the garlic cloves, exposing the cloves. I then drizzle the exposed cloves with olive oil and sprinkle the salt, paprika, and thyme over the top (this will add flavor and color). You could mix the seasonings together and dip the top of the garlic bunch into that mixture as well. Place the seasoned garlic on a cookie sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes until you notice the garlic gloves starting to separate from the bunch.

I love garlic so much I don’t want any of it going to waste. So while the garlic is roasting I throw together a pasta with the left over tops of the garlic cloves, and seasoning. This is a great beginning to a tasty pasta sauce.

Take the garlic out of the oven and let it sit until it’s cool enough to touch and you can eat it any way you like. To make garlic bread, you’ll want to pull out the roasted garlic cloves from the bunch -if they don’t come out easy, just pinch the bunch and squeeze them out. I then combine the garlic gloves with salted butter and spread over toasted french bread, and served that with my pasta. It was a garlic evening!

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