Thursday, October 16, 2008

Garlic Haters, Repent!

Share it Please
      Yesterday was a very mellow day here in Austin; lots of rain, the goat was home sick from work and temperatures hit the 70s and 80s when the sun finally came out for a brief bit before being swallowed back up by storm clouds. I had to be downtown for an interview at 8am so we were still up at our normal time – no sleeping in to be found around here. (yeah, right.)

      I kicked myself for not bringing my camera with me. The city was gorgeous with all the rain-wet buildings and freshly filled streams. I made it to 2nd and Congress around 8am or so and hoofed it the rest of the way – it's usually faster than the bus and I only had a couple blocks to walk. Did the interview and was headed to the grocery store on 5th and Lamar at about 8:30 or so. The walk was great despite the light rain and horrible humidity.

      I love the grocery store that time of morning. Everyone is busy doing their part be it stocking up produce, making the fresh to-go salads for the day, getting the bulk bins refilled, all the fresh bread is warm and fresh and smells amazing. I picked up an Ancient Grain loaf for the goat. He still needs his gluten fix and I'm okay with that. I also picked up some canned Indian food, on sale for that matter, carrots, onions and some toothpaste. I also came across something new: Elephant Garlic. It looks like normal garlic only four times the size. I was quite impressed and intrigued having never seen or heard of this before. I grabbed a bulb for $2.56 and headed to the checkout.

      I surprised the goat with the still warm bread. Our usual time for the grocery store is after dark so we can ride and avoid most traffic on the roads. As a result of this, the bread is usually picked ove
r and just starting to get a little hard from sitting out all day. I showed him the elephant garlic and we had some fun with a little photo shoot. I was pretty excited to start cooking, but it was hardly 11 so I decided to relax for a while and start after noon. I threw together some lentil soup out of what I just bought and some basics I had on hand. Here's the outline for the recipe:

1 chopped onion
garlic, chopped, smashed, or destroyed to taste
2 carrots
2 handfuls each green and yellow lentils
¼ c Canadian wild rice
salt & pepper

      Canned tomatoes and various left overs go well in this soup. I sautee the onion and garlic in the bottom of the soup pot in olive oil until barely soft and remove them until the very end. This helps give them a slightly crunchier texture than the rest of the soup and keeps them from being too soggy by the time the soup is done. After the onions are out of the pot throw in the lentils, rice and water up to near the top of the pot. Simmer with lid on (you can keep the temperature lower if you use a lid) until tender or 45 minutes. Add the carrots for the last 15 minutes of simmering and add the onions right before serving.

      If you decide to try some Elephant Garlic make
sure you do not over cook it as it will go bitter. The garlic, which is not really garlic but a member of the leek family, is almost woody in texture and holds a very delicate garlic flavor. It's great raw for garlic bread or in salads. It gives the hint of garlic without burning your mouth. Elephant Garlic has been known as garlic for garlic haters.

      All you garlic haters can repent now, we forgive you.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Follow The Author