09 December 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #112: Garlic

The host for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging is Simona from Briciole.

Personally speaking, it's rare that I cook anything savory without a least a touch of allium sativum, or cultivated garlic. Garlic is closely related to onions, shallots, and leeks, and so-called elephant garlic is, in fact, a leek. Although the origins of garlic are difficult to confirm, many botanists believe that it originated in Central Asia.

Garlic was eaten by the slaves constructing Khufu's pyramid in Egypt, and also by Greek and Roman soldiers, sailors and rural classes. A Christian myth states that when Satan left the Garden of Eden, garlic grew in his left footprint and onion in his right. In northeastern India, it is believed that a mixture of garlic and water spread around a home will prevent snakes from coming inside. In the United States in 1999, garlic consumption was more than three pounds per capita.

Now, I must warn you that this particular recipe is definitely not for the faint-of-heart where it comes to garlic. It may be the most garlicky thing I've ever eaten, but trust me, every single bite was delicious.

Triple Garlic Risotto

1 bulb garlic
olive oil
6-8 cups chicken stock
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cut the top (about 1/2 an inch) off of the bulb of garlic, and rub the excess papery skin off. Place in a piece of aluminum foil and cover pour olive oil into the spaces between the cloves. Wrap in the aluminum foil, place in an oven-safe dish, and roast at 375F for about 45 minutes, until you can smell the garlic. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
2. While the roasted garlic is cooling, place the sliced garlic and the chicken stock into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
3. Once the stock is simmering, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Reduce the heat to medium and add the minced garlic and the rice, and cook until the rice is translucent and fully coated with the oil.
4. While the rice is toasting, squeeze the roasted garlic out of its papery skin. Using the side of a knife, mash it into a paste. Add this to the rice and stir until blended.
5. Add the wine to the rice mixture and cook, stirring, until almost evaporated.
6. In batches of 1/2-1 cup, add the chicken stock to the rice, stirring frequently. Once one batch is creamy and thick, but not dry, add the next batch.
7. Continue stirring and adding stock until the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the butter and parmesan.

- Vegetable stock can be substituted for the chicken stock.
- If you can't find Arborio rice, you can use short grain rice, or, in a pinch, medium-grain.


Simona said...

The name of your dish is really a program: I am sure garlic lovers will rejoice.

Kalyn said...

I say you can never have too much garlic!

Gay Carrillo said...

Sounds garlicky good!

Laurie Constantino said...

I was waiting for you to stir in raw garlic at the end!! This sounds wonderful, really wonderful.