Growing your own garlic takes some time, but it is so worth it!
There is nothing better than fresh garlic, especially when you know it was grown in your own dirt, not sprayed with anything nasty, and not stored for months while it was shipped from overseas, and it’s really easy to grow.
Mid-autumn you just pop some cloves of garlic into a bit of dirt and they grow. Simple.
If you want super huge bulbs of garlic you might want to make sure the soil has had some compost added to it first, and you’ll probably want to keep the weeds away as garlic doesn’t like competition. But I’ve found that even if you put your garlic in later than you should, and you totally ignore it, never weed it, and only water it very occasionally when you realise it hasn’t rained for a month, it will still grow. It may not grow as huge as it might if you give it lots of tender love and care, but it’ll grow big enough, and it tastes good… and when you are a lazy gardener like me, that’s all that matters!
I am also a lazy cook.
While I love the taste and smell of fresh garlic, I usually can’t be bothered fussing with fresh garlic. It’s so fiddly and time consuming peeling and chopping it, when what I really need to do is get an entire meal cooked and on the table in around 30 minutes while also bathing the kids, listening to a reader, and refereeing several arguments. Time is of the essence and it’s so much easier to reach for a jar of minced garlic, but that can still be home grown!
After we’ve dug up our garlic (after Christmas where we live), and hung it to dry for a few weeks I set aside a morning to to peel and process a big batch into jars with herbs and oil. This simple method means that I have instant homegrown garlic to add to any meal!
Here’s how I make our simple herb and garlic oil…
- Cloves of fresh garlic
- Fresh herbs – chives, rosemary, basil, oregano
- Olive oil
- Clean jars with well fitting lids
- How much you need of each ingredient will depend on how much garlic you are processing. I usually do enough to fill three small jars which is about 12 whole bulbs.
- I use a big bunch of fresh herbs from the garden, whatever I have growing at the time.
- Peel the cloves of garlic and either chop finely or whiz them in the food processor until they are finely minced.
- Chop the herbs very finely and combine with the minced garlic.
- Spoon the garlic and herb mixture into jars, filling right to the top, but not packing the mixture in tightly.
- Fill the jars with enough olive oil to cover the garlic and herb mix completely.
- Store in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze.
Because this recipe uses fresh herbs and garlic this mixture needs to be kept in the fridge and used within a week.
If you don’t go through as much garlic as we do you can spoon the garlic, herb, and oil mixture into ice cube trays and freeze them. Then just pop the cubes out into a container and store in the freezer until you need them. Pop a cube or two into a hot pan and it will defrost in a dew seconds.
Do you grow your own garlic?
Have you got any tips for growing big delicious bulbs?