Saturday, early afternoon, June 21, Uwa Jimaya, Seattle:
I spied something green. Bunches of green stalks. No flowers, just buds. Very interesting. It was without a doubt a type of vegetable which we have not tried before. So I took a bunch. I looked at the label. Garlic Spears, it says.
Adventurous? Why, yes. Experimentation is the game afoot.
The garlic spears I placed in the basket caught Ryan’s attention. He asked, “Have you had this before?”
“I don’t think so,” I answered. “At least, I don’t recall ever having eaten this.” Coming from me, it’s a somewhat atypical response.
This is what raw garlic spears look like:
This is the note that came with the garlic spears:
This is what the note says:
(Flower Tops from Elephant Garlic)
When cooked, garlic spears have a very mild garlic flavor with a texture and taste somewhere between asparagus and artichoke. The whole spear may be eaten – as is.
Steam or sauté lightly (3-5 minutes depending on how crisp you like your vegetables) and serve with a little butter and lemon juice.
They are also delicious served chilled (after steaming) as an appetizer and a companion to your favorite dip.
Pureed, they make a wonderful mild garlic soup. Chopped raw they are very hot and will spice up your baked potatoes, salads, or dips.
For a very special touch, steam lightly, cut into inch long pieces and add them to your pasta dishes.
Try them – you’ll like them!
This is what my food bible, The Oxford Companion to Food, have to say about elephant garlic:
Elephant Garlic – one of the various forms of Allium ampeloprasum, is also called giant or Levant garlic. It is more closely related to the leek than to garlic. However, it has large bulbs and cloves resembling those of garlic in shape and structure, and a mild garlic flavor, and these similarities account for its common name. One cultivar bears the official name Elephant, and it can produce heads weighing as much as 450 g (1 lb) each. The plant originated in the Levant, and can be grown in the same conditions as garlic. It is cultivated commercially in the USA.
Elephant garlic can be baked as a vegetable, or sliced into salads.
Davidson, A. (2006). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Saturday, early evening, June 21, At home, Redmond:
This is what garlic spears sautéed in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper, look like:
Ah yes, I did.