I met my friend Sue 20 years ago and although I now live on the east coast and she is still in Denver, we remain super close and connected. Over the past decade, Sue has also collected the most amazing group of loving, supportive and fascinating girlfriends. This summer Sue married the love of her life in Sea Isle, New Jersey, bringing together (most- we missed you Lisa!) of these Fabulous Babes for a truly magical weekend. We feasted on blue crabs prepared lovingly by Sue’s hubby’s cousin Ricky, slurped up spaghetti with crab gravy a la Sue’s new MIL, enjoyed Italian hoagies on the beach and drank “all the rosé”. It was a South Jersey food enthusiast’s dream!
This was also the weekend that I was introduced to the most delicious garlic I’ve ever tasted. You may be thinking, “garlic is garlic”, but if you are, you are dead wrong. Dana is one of the Babes who flew in for the wedding from Oregon, bringing samples of the garlic that she and her husband Jeremy grow using organic farming methods. As soon as I got home from the shore, I started cooking with the garlic. I tucked it under the skin of a spatch-cocked chicken with lemon and parsley before grilling it over indirect heat achieving the most flavorful meat and crispy skin, I sliced it and sautéed it in EVOO to toss with crisp-tender green beans, I rubbed the raw cloves on toasted Tuscan bread and piled fresh mozzarella, basil and heirloom tomatoes on top. The flavor of the garlic is intense and beautiful in every application and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on more. Luckily, Dana and Jeremy ship their garlic and you can order it from their website, squaredrootsfarm.com, which is exactly what I did. Twice now! Sadly, the season is over and the bulbs they are about to plant will not be ready until next spring, but I am stocked up and I am storing the garlic in a cool pantry in the ventilated paper bag in which it arrived. It should keep well for a while, but I have become obsessed with the method of preserving through fermentation and fermenting garlic in honey creates an elixir with a multitude of practical uses. The garlic flavors the honey and the honey candies the garlic and it’s just absolutely delicious. Not only can you drizzle the honey on anything that benefits from a sweet/savory accent, but a spoonful a day keeps “the crummies” away. You can read all about the various health benefits that eating raw garlic offers on Dana and Jeremy’s website. There is also a ton of information about the different varieties of garlic they grow and it’s just so cool! For my fermented honey, I used Majestic Porcelain. It’s super easy and you can use whatever garlic you have access to, but I do recommend using organic and sourcing some artisan garlic from a farm near you or bookmarking this post to remember to order from Squared Roots Farm next spring.
Fermented Garlic Honey
Adapted from “It’s Alive with Brad” -Bon Appétit
Makes about 2 cups
1 whole head of garlic, peeled and cloves crushed
1 1/2 cup raw honey
Cover garlic with the raw honey in a clean 1 pint ball jar. Make sure all of the garlic is coated with the honey and tighten the lid. Set on the counter and let sit for 3 days. On day three, slowly open the jar. You should hear a slight escape of gas and smell the garlic. Yum! You will most likely see little bubbles at this stage, which is a sign that the fermentation process has started. Stir the honey and garlic and reseal. You should “burp” your garlic honey once every other day for a week before using. To burp your garlic honey, just unscrew the lid slightly to let the gas escape. The honey will become more liquid-y over the next week. Store the honey in your pantry and use it on everything! My current favorite is drizzled on Calabrese Salami Pizza…do it!