October 08, 2005

Pickled Garlic

I acquired a bulk tub of peeled garlic cloves at Samuel's Society in the mistaken belief that the added convenience would mean that they would get used up quickly enough to be a worthwhile investment. It soon became obvious that I'd need to find additional uses for them, so in addition to putting four cloves into each jar of whatever else I was pickling I put up a jar of straight garlic pickles. I used the same recipe as for the green tomatoes I was pickling at the time. The results proved to be better than I anticipated; the flavor and crunch both came out just about right. I truly enjoy nibbling on the pickled cloves. There were flaws, however, and the following procedure includes corrections for them.

Trim the rooty bit from the bottom of each clove with a sharp knife. It does not pickle prettily. Fill sterilized canning jars with the trimmed garlic, stopping 3/4 of an inch below the rim ring because they absorb a lot of liquid. Add, at a bare minimum, an entire jalepeno pepper, cut lengthwise in quarters with all its seeds. If you want actual heat from the pickles a serious hot pepper is in order. Place it prominently at the side of the jar. Add one tablespoon of commercial pickling spice to each jar.

Put one gallon of cider vinigar in a non-reactive pot, and add two cups of sugar. This resulted in a distinctly sweet green tomato pickle but is a perfect balance for the garlic. Heat to just short of boiling, while stirring to dissolve the sugar, and then pour this, hot, over the garlic, filling the jars to just above the rim ring. Make sure the sealing rim is clean, cover, and hot water process per your best practice.

The resultant pickles can be included in a relish tray, or an antipasto if you are troubled by pastos. They would work quite nicely, perhaps sliced a ways, in a potato or egg salad, or sliced thinly into a salad of interesting greens. I would also include them in meatloaf, along with the traditional green olives, except that the wee wifey takes the meatloaf to work for her lunch.

The juice from these pickles produces a truly striking dirty martini, with a pair of the cloves on a toothpick as a garnish, but this is most likely a solitary pleasure.

Posted by triticale at October 8, 2005 09:56 AM | TrackBack

Well, writing from Portugal where I pickle garlic, two things.

White wine vinegar and boy, are you light on the peppers.

A handfull of piri piri’s (about the same as a habanero, ie a handful of h’s) creates, after 3 months, something worthy of being eaten as an appetiser all on it’s own.

Posted by: Tim Worstall at October 9, 2005 04:25 PM
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