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Growing Garlic & Wetherbee’s Roasted Garlic Red Potatoes Recipe
If you cook with fresh garlic, you’ll understand what I’m about to say: The best way to describe the difference between fresh garlic and garlic powder is like watching the same television show or movie in color versus black and white. Senses are heightened, the character is more complex and the entire experience is that much more memorable and exciting.
If you rely solely on garlic powder to season your foods, you’re in for a treat. And by growing your own you will always have that flavorful complexity of fresh garlic right at hand. So for great garlic from garden-to-table, here’s what you need to know. Let’s Grow Garlic.
How to Grow Garlic ~
- Garlic that you buy in the store is called a bulb or head and consists of many individual cloves that, when planted, will grow into a new garlic bulb. The best time to plant garlic is in fall about four to six weeks before hard freezes arrive.
- Buy firm bulbs from nurseries, garden centers, farmer’s markets or online stores. Big bulbs come from big cloves, so plant only the largest outer cloves of the bulb and use the rest for cooking.
- Choose a sunny location and well-drained soil. Add in 3 to 4 inches of compost (available at your local Kmart), aged manure or other organic matter into the soil.
- Each unpeeled clove is planted flat end down and pointed tip up, about 4 to 8 inches apart. In mild-winter areas, plant deep enough so the clove’s top is 1/2 to 2 inches below the soil surface; in cold winter areas plant so the top is about 3 to 4 inches deep.
- Cover beds with several inches of loose straw or mulch; fertilize in early spring with fish meal, aged manure or a high-nitrogen fertilizer if needed; and cease watering once leaves begin to brown in summer. About two to three weeks later, the bulbs are ready to harvest when about 50 percent of the leaves have yellowed and withered.
- Bundle a dozen or so bulbs by their stems and hang, or lay bulbs flat on drying racks in an area that’s dry, shady and well-ventilated for two to four weeks to cure. Then trim the roots, cut each stem to within 1 inch of the bulb and store in a cool, dry and airy location in or near your kitchen. Stored this way, most varieties will keep for six to nine months.
How to Cook Garlic ~
- Garlic can be chopped, sliced or minced. But for easy prep, use a garlic press. You can find them at your local Kmart. I especially like the Essential Home Stainless Steel Garlic Press available at Kmart’s online store.
- For flavorful that’s more subtle and less overpowering, sauté garlic briefly to avoid burning, which makes garlic taste bitter.
- Roasting or baking garlic in the oven brings out a mellow flavor that’s slightly sweet and nutty. Leave heads whole for a soft and mild texture, or cut heads in half and bake cut side down for a delicious, sticky-sweet texture. I roast mine, covered, in a 375 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, and then for another 10 minutes uncovered.
Wetherbee’s Roasted Garlic Red Potatoes Recipe
Makes 4 servings
- 6 medium red potatoes, cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme, or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 to 4 roasted garlic cloves*
- Salt & black pepper to taste
* Use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic pulp from its skin.
In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add potatoes and reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and place in a serving bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, melted butter, lemon juice, fresh herbs and roasted garlic. Pour mixture over potatoes and toss to evenly coast. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy your creation! – Kris Wetherbee
Read Kris’ Recent Blogs & Guides
° How to Make Herb-Infused Vinegar & Wetherbee’s White Bean Salad Recipe – NEW & HOT!
° Gardening Tools for Fall – Wetherbee’s Must Haves
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° Winter Squash Tips & Wetherbee’s Spaghetti Squash Recipe
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Kmart Garden Tool(s)
- Roseburg, OR
I just made your roasted garlic red potatoes last night and it is now my favorite way to eat potatoes! Thanks to your directions, roasting the garlic was super easy. I will be making this recipe again and again. Can't wait to see what you have in store for your next blog.