November 12, 2011

Save The Harvest!!!

In addition to Operation Save the Tomatoes!, I went into crazy Save the Harvest! mode this year. I was compelled to save all that I could before the first freeze wiped out our garden which is strange since I eat mostly fresh food and turn up my nose at things in the cupboard and freezer. I still have leftover pesto and tomato sauce from last year for crying out loud. But preserve I must. So here's what I whipped up.

I made the same Mario Batali recipe I made last year but this time I used my own garlic and man that shit is strong! Be prepared to smell it on your hands for a week no matter how many times you wash them and no matter what fancy tricks you employ. Pesto takes a crazy amount of basil, luckily I grew a crazy amount of basil. I made a 4x batch - some went in the fridge, some into the freezer. Still haven't eaten any.

Food&Wine mag had a French Classics issue and my heart was all a flutter. What better way to use the garlic I grew than with this garlic confit recipe? I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to whip this up the morning before an international flight, I guess I'm not happy if I'm not rushing for the plane. I had to bring Bernie in to help peel all the garlic. I cannot wait to try this. 
6 heads of garlic, cloves peeled (2 cups)
6 thyme sprigs
3 small bay leaves
3 dried red chiles, such as chiles de arbol
2 cups pure olive oil

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat until the garlic is tender but not browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool.
2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic, herbs and chiles to three 1/2-pint canning jars. Pour the cooking oil on top, seal and refrigerate for up to 4 months.

also from the Food&Wine French Classics issue.  
use it as an herb rub on meat or mix in with a little butter and Garlic Confit, yum
everyone take note - I used my food processor TWICE this week!!!

1 cup rosemary leaves (1 1/2 ounces)
1 cup thyme leaves and tender stems (1 1/2 ounces)
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

In a food processor or blender, pulse the herbs and garlic until chopped. Add the salt and pulse until finely chopped. Add the crushed red pepper and pulse to blend. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet and let stand, stirring occasionally, until dried, about 2 days. Transfer the mixture to a jar or manual spice grinder. The herb salt can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 year.

Roasted Tomatoes via David Lebovitz
(keeping with the French theme)
I bagged these and froze them to add to pasta or pizza this winter
don't know what confit is? yeah, me neither

We are still eating fresh tomatoes although that will be coming to an end soon. I've got one more batch of swiss chard in the fridge. The two basil plants I brought in are hanging in there thank god because I can't live without a lot of basil yet I don't really want to pay $5 for a mini pack at the store. So there you have it - the end of our 2011 garden. It feels like it is paying for itself but who knows.

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