Garlic was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, chewed by Greek Olympian athletes, and thought to be essential for keeping vampires at bay. It is also good for zapping bacteria, keeping your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, regulating blood sugar in diabetics, and warding off coughs and colds. For example, if you have a cold, put lots of chopped garlic into chicken soup, or even just the broth (if you cannot down the noodles and veggies in a soup).
I have grown garlic; it is very easy, and takes little space in a garden. Buying garlic braids not only adorns your kitchen, but garlic is just in your reach; or even buy it already minced or sliced, soaking in olive oil which you can
keep in your refrigerator.
When garlic is roasted in the oven, the cloves become very soft and sweet; it can be used as a spread, in dips, salads, etc.
Roasted Garlic Bulb
1 head garlic
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Remove the outer papery covering of the garlic. Slice off the top of the head so most of the cloves are exposed. Place on a square of aluminum foil for easy cleanup, or select the smallest baking dish you have. Drizzle the oil over the cloves.
Fold the foil over the head to completely enclose it, or cover the baking dish with foil. Roast for about 45 minutes, until the garlic is completely soft and lightly browned.
To serve, separate the head into individual cloves, or squeeze out the cloves into a small serving dish. If you have leftovers, squeeze out the pulp into a small dish, cover with olive oil, and store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Now here's a recipe for a very easy to make meal which is garlicky and spicy.
Garlic Chicken with Soba Noodles
2 Tbsp sesame oil (if not available, use canola oil)
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp minced garlic
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into ¼” slices
½ cup soy sauce, divided in half
½ cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup snow or sugar snap pea pods
1 cup chopped Bok Choy, Chinese cabbage (Napa) or white cabbage
12 oz Soba noodles, cooked and drained
In a Wok or large skillet, medium-high heat, heat the oil and pepper flakes for one minute. Add the garlic and let cook for an additional 30 seconds before adding the chicken and half the soy sauce. Stir fry until the chicken is thoroughly cooked; remove, set aside and keep warm.
Add into the Wok, or skillet, the mushrooms, bell pepper and pea pods; stir fry until bell pepper begins to soften. Mix in cabbage; as soon as it begins to wilt add in the remaining soy sauce, chicken and noodles. Mix thoroughly; stir fry for 2 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 servings.