We Ranui Gardens CSA members are lucky that John loves garlic and grows about 10 varietals of hardneck garlic. Hardneck garlic is valued for complexity of flavor, fares well in cooler climes and has a shorter storage life.
Early in the season we enjoyed scapes, the edible green stalks shooting out of the middle of hardneck garlic plants. Cutting off the scape sends more nutrition to the garlic in the ground, though if the scape is not cut, the tip forms bulbils, or flowers, also edible. We’ve also had “green” or young garlic in our boxes this year, pulled from the ground before the cloves are well formed. Now Ranui’s garlic is mature and cured, having cured for three to four weeks and we are getting some in our boxes as often as zucchini.
This time of year I make gazpacho, a cold soup of Spanish origin, with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and garlic. (And why not add some of those tender small zucchini?)
There are thousands of gazpacho recipes out there, variations on the hot weather and summer harvest theme. Because tomatoes are not in the mix, this recipe is untraditional. But it does have a good dose of garlic. I wrote an article about Garlic and Gazpacho for Salt Lake City’s Catalyst Magazine’s August issue. Here is the recipe I gave. Hint: If you hit a clove of garlic with the side of chef’s knife, the skin will loosen and make it easy to peel.
3 cloves garlic, (peeled and crushed)
3 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 small green pepper
2 green onions, chopped
2 tbs. chopped fresh basil, cilantro or parsley
2 cups cold vegetable broth
2 cups plain yogurt
2 to 3 tbs. sherry wine vinegar or fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Cherry tomatoes, red or gold, cut in tiny wedges
Fresh basil, cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish
Put the garlic, half of the cucumbers, green pepper, green onions, basil and vegetable broth in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the remaining cucumbers and puree. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the yogurt, vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Chill until cold. Serve garnished with the tomatoes, and more green onions and fresh herbs.