An evening with the stinking rose

Home early tonight with a bit of time on my hands so I had me a face-off with the veg box. Two days in Manchester combined with M being away all week means my hamper overfloweth with on-their-way-out-but-still-okay vegetables, and a brand spanking new box to get started on.

So….potatoes+leeks+onions+veg stock+dash cream = vichyssoise. More potatoes? Cut ’em into chunks, toss in sunflower oil and roast. More onions? Sweat off, add garlic, in with a couple of cartons of tomatoes. Sauce is happily plopping away to itself on the stove, and will do for a couple of hours yet. Think I might try home-made pizza this weekend so this will be my base sauce.

The cloves of garlic prompted this post though, and give me a chance to share some top tips I picked up at Ashburton. To avoid the faff of peeling and chopping garlic each time you want it, get it all over in one go by attacking a couple of bulbs at once, and keep under oil til you need it. Home-made EasyGarlic. Good opportunity to practice your knife skills too.

Separate the cloves of a couple of bulbs of garlic and peel them. Works best with big fat cloves (like the lovely stuff grown by the Really Garlicky Company in Nairn!), which size-wise is almost the opposite of what I got from Abel and Cole last week. Ah well, all the better to practice not slicing my fingertips on.

Next remove the soul of each clove. Now, I know this might seem needless fiddly, but it’s this little root that has the smelly bit that keep that garlicky flavour going until the next day, according to the Ashburton guys, and many Italians. Who am I to argue?


Chop each clove as finely as your patience and skills allow, then run your knife over the mound of garlic to catch any errant lumpy bits.


Transfer to a container. I’d recommend one with a lid – I used a glass dish with clingfilm last time I did this, and the fridge started to smell of garlic after a week or so, and the clingfilm bugged me after a while. Cover the garlic with a neutral oil (sunflower, vegetable, corn, groundnut…) and there you have it.


A teaspoon’s worth is about a regular clove, and you get some garlicky oil for cooking with to boot.

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