We just harvested the garlic we put in the ground last fall, and to me there is nothing quite as beautiful as bundles of freshly dug garlic hanging up to dry. Garlic is one of the most no-fuss crops you can plant, and in my kitchen one of the most useful.
You can plant in the fall for a spring or early summer harvest, plant in the early spring for a fall harvest. Something that a lot of people might not know is that you can use a fresh garlic bulb from the store for planting. You simply separate the segments of the bulbs and plant each one to grow into it’s very own beautiful head of Garlic.
You know your Garlic is ready to harvest when it has about 4 stalks and the tops of the plant start to dry out. It is always good to just check with one or two bulbs to make sure they are the right size. When you harvest it all your first instinct is to plunge them in water to get all of the dirt off of them. This is a no no unless you are planning on using the garlic right away. I bundle them up with twine and hang them on my porch for a day or two (as long as the temperatures outside are not over 90 degrees) until the outer skin is no longer soft. If you want a beautiful garlic braid instead of a bundle, this is the time to braid the stalks together while they are still green and pliable. The papery layers on the outside of the bulb form and then with your hands you can gently rub the excess dirt from the bulbs.
I bring the bundle right into the kitchen and hang it on a hook, pulling heads off as I need to use them.
Over the years I have developed this recipe after trying hundreds of different combinations of ingredients.
Garlic Ceasar Dressing
1/3 cup Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (not concentrate)
1tsp mustard seed powder
Pepper (or lemon pepper) to taste
2-3 cloves of fresh crushed garlic
1 T organic sugar, or sweetener of choice
Shake well in a pint mason jar and enjoy!
For a creamy dressing add 3 T of mayonnaise or silken tofu
My favorite Summer variation to this recipe is adding:
Fresh chopped chives, lemon thyme, and a whole pureed fresh tomato
Heidi, thank you! This information is exactly what I needed to know and I can't wait until I can make my first garlic braid this fall. It's hard to be patient!! I will certainly be making this dressing as well. I can almost taste it!
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