In the kitchen alone garlic has a 101 uses. It can be roasted, grilled, stewed, sautéed and eaten raw – just don’t burn it, as it will turn horribly bitter.
For something a little special, slice the top off a head of garlic. Drizzle over some olive oil, wrap the whole head in foil and bake in a medium oven for 30-40 minutes until the garlic is perfectly tender. Serve with good fresh bread, olives, feta cheese, a green salad and a bottle of red wine for an impromptu feast. Pop the garlic out of its skin and spread on the bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and eat with olives and cheese.
If you grow your own garlic, you’ll be able to make fresh garlic soup. This is a very rare treat as shop bought garlic has usually been dried and has too strong a flavor. For this soup, use the garlic as soon as you have pulled it from the ground. Do not hang it up to dry. Peel and slice the garlic (use at least one whole head per person), and sauté in butter until soft. Do not let the garlic color. Add half vegetable or chicken stock and half milk to the soft garlic and bring to the boil. Add a sliced, peeled potato if you want a bit more substance to your soup. Simmer until the garlic has positively melted into the soup. Blend until smooth and taste. The soup should be pale and delicate and just scented with garlic. Season with salt and white pepper as required. Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with finely chopped garlic chives.
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