It’s that time of year again, winter is just around the corner and you’re favourite Australian garlic season is coming to an end…or is it?
Truth be told, many late varieties of Australian grown garlic may indeed be ready for planting BUT the season is still far from over, so no need to skimp on flavour yet
Use generously and immerse yourself in the intense aroma that is Australian garlic. Get crushing, grating and slicing for come late-May early-June you may start to notice sprouting in some of your garlic cloves. Stop! Fear not, sprouted garlic is not spoilt. Continue to enjoy your garlic, shoots and all, however if you prefer to remove the sprout then slice each clove length ways and simply pull the sprout downwards from the tip.
Lets say youve made the wise choice and stocked up on fresh Australian garlic before the seasons out. How can you make this last between growing seasons Have you thought about freezing or perhaps pickling your garlic
The simplest option is to freeze fresh garlic. Fresh garlic can be frozen as whole unpeeled bulbs, individual cloves peeled or unpeeled or as chopped garlic. Although frozen garlic lacks the crunchy texture of fresh, its flavour remains robust and strong.
Interesting fact: When preparing garlic, fresh or frozen, it is important to let your garlic sit before using. One of the health promoting components found in garlic is the enzyme that allows the formation of allicin. Mincing or pressing whole raw garlic is needed for allicin to form. A process which takes up to 10 minutes. Prepare your garlic 5 to 10 minutes before hand and leave to sit at room temperature otherwise your garlic will not fulfil its protective, disease-fighting potential.*
When freezing fresh garlic I choose to freeze individual cloves of unpeeled garlic basically because it is so darn easyall you need to do is break up the bulb, place the unpeeled cloves into a zip-lock bag and place the bag into the freezer, voila!
Should pickling garlic be something that tantalises your tastebuds then perhaps a simple brine of vinegar, water and salt could be the answer. Not to give too much away, you can safely add different herbs or spices to your pickle as long as you keep to the vinegar water salt ratio of your chosen recipe.
Over time sprouted garlic will loose moisture as the shoot continues to grow, it is therefore recommended to use sprouted garlic sooner than later. If you havent got around to cooking, freezing or pickling your fresh garlic and the sprouts are taking hold why not stick them in a large pot or garden bed, fist width apart in the full sun. Cover with a layer of mulch and keep the soil moist but not wet. Who knows maybe you too have a green thumb!