Today was the end of my second week back out in the gardens at Seed Savers Exchange. I had spent the day driving a truck all over muddy roads on the 1000 acre farm. It was a beautiful day. The grass was greening up, trees were budding and the sun was finally making an appearance after all this rain and gloom we’ve been having out here in Iowa. There were so many reasons why it was a good day but the best days end with a funny story and boy, did I have one today.
While parking the truck at the end of the day, I had my arms full of gear and went to reach for some poles that were in the bed of the truck when I lost my footing and started to trip. I almost caught my footing about three times in a row, which I am sure only added to the ridiculousness of my situation. I faced the facts and just let gravity have her way with me. I did about 2 or 3 revolutions as I rolled down the small embankment that the truck gets parked on. I just laid there in the muddy gravel laughing. It all happened so fast but the funniest part to me was that while I was mid tumble, the song “Roll With It” by Steve Winwood (link) was playing in my head. Anyway, tragedy in my little tumble was that no one was there to witness it.
On a side note, one of my top choices for supper power would be to have “Appropriate Theme Music” play at important, awe inspiring, or exceptionally comical moments in my life. It could be awesome and a great thing for all mankind!
While working in both the preservation and commercial side of seed savers, I’ve been blessed with lots of free garlic. An abundance of something free has forced me once again to seek culinary inspiration, so that I can get rid of the stuff before it goes bad. There is really not too much to this recipe, but I’ve been slowly perfecting the recipe for the past few months (admittedly, I have not been working diligently at the task). The first attempt was more of your run-of-the-mill plain old roasted garlic. My second attempt, I stepped it up a notch for a church potluck and added sour cream and parmesan cheese to the roasted garlic. On the third attempt, I went all out for a potluck and a friend’s house and add sautéed mushrooms and artichoke hearts to the recipe. I also took the leftovers to share with everyone at work and I had a few people ask for the recipe so I decided to post it.
- Roasted Garlic
- Olive oil
- Artichokes hearts (about 1 can, coarsely chopped)
- Mushrooms, minced and sautéed in butter or olive oil
- Shredded parmesan Cheese
- 1-2 spoonfuls of Sour Cream
- Sea Salt & Pepper (to taste)
First step is to roast the garlic. You can do this using whatever method you prefer. I have been peeling the garlic by hand before roasting, mostly because I have been using leftover garlic from work, which has the occasional rotten clove so roasting the whole clove in this case, not optimal.
Tip: A friend from work showed me a really fast way to get the skins off the cloves using salt and a bowl, jar, or any container with a lid. Just separate the cloves from a couple of heads of garlic and put them in the bowl or jar and sprinkle with 1-2 spoonfuls of salt. Put the lid on the container and shake vigorously for a minute or so. The majority of the skinks will come off and congregate at the top so that you can just pull them out. Any skins still left on the clove can be easily removed by hand.
I roast the garlic by putting approx. 1 quart of garlic (you can use more or less garlic depending on how large or strong of a batch you want to make) in a glass container. Drizzle garlic with olive oil and cover with aluminum foil (or a lid). Place in the oven at 275-325 degrees F until the cloves are soft enough to mash easily with a fork. If you would like the dip to be a bit more on the spicy pungent side don’t overcook them, but if you want it to be slightly mild and sweet, than leave the cloves in the oven for just a little bit longer until they get slightly caramelize.
Mash roasted garlic until the texture suits you and let it cool (just until it is not scolding hot). Add sautéed mushrooms, chopped artichokes, sour cream, and parmesan cheese in a ratio that suites your personal fancy. Then add salt and pepper to taste. The salt really enchases and blends the flavors together, so I usually make sure to add the salt as I go along. Otherwise I’ll stand there thinking it needs more cheese or sour cream but really it just needs more salt to bring everything together. You can serve with it with fancy crackers or sometimes I use it as a spread on my sandwich.