Gill has a glut of garlic. So have I. There is no easy answer in terms of preserving garlic. Garlic enhanced chutney is the closest you will get – or a fridge relish can be pungent. Just don’t let it get within breathing distance of cream, yogurt of milk. Lids firmly on chaps!!
Preserving in oil or in vinegar only goes so far, and garlic is so pungent that it’s a shame to lose its potency. But then some things are just meant to be be eaten fresh. Anyway, here are two recipes, one for an apple and tomato based garlic chutney, and one for a fridge relish.
GARLIC FRIDGE RELISH
Two heads of garlic, separated into cloves and peeled. 3 large tomatoes, skinned, and de seeded so you are left with the flesh, 2 chopped green chillis – retain as many seeds as you wish depending on how hot you want it. 1 tablespoon each ground cumin and coriander. Half a teaspoon of turmeric and salt. 1.5 tablespoons soft brown sugar.
Put about 30ml vegetable oil in a skillet, heat to smoking, then add the tomatoes and chopped chillis. Cook for 2 minutes then add the finely chopped or grated garlic, spice powders. Turn down the heat and cook for another 5 minutes. Then taste and add salt and sugar. Stir thoroughly then and cook for a minute more. Wait five minutes. Taste again to check seasoning. Spoon into small sterilised jars and put the lids on store in the fridge only when the jars are at room temperature. This means that no condensation will form on the inside of the jars and thus reduce the likelihood of mould growth. Eat within two weeks. (The beauty of fridge relish is you can simply store your garlic as normal in a cool dark place to prevent it going green, and then make some more when you are ready.
APPLE, TOMATO AND GARLIC CHUTNEY
First, take two or more whole heads of garlic, clean off any dirt and trim back the roots. Slice across the top so you’ve taken the pointy bits off. Rub all over with olive oil then place in a terracotta bowl or on a tray and bake in the oven (190C) for about 40 minutes. This will depend on the size of your heads of garlic so keep an eye on it. You want the garlic inside to go sticky and gooey.
Meanwhile, peel core and chop 1k of sharp apples, 3 large onions, finely chopped, and 5 large skinned, de seeded and chopped tomatoes. Put these in a preserving pan with 400ml apple cider vinegar, 400g soft brown sugar and 1 teaspoon each of salt, ground coriander, cumin, paprika and a tablespoon or so of fennel seed depending on how much you like it! Stir it up, bring slowly to the boil and then let it simmer away. When your garlic is ready (It should be soft and squishy) and it has cooled down a bit, squeeze from the bottom of each clove and let each roasted sugar laden clove drop into the chutney. You can see that if you want it really garlicy you simply add more roasted garlic! Let it simmer away for another hour then check the consistency… The aim is for it to have reduced to a gloopy consistency. Try not to stir it too vigorously as its good to keep some of the apple in chunks. Otherwise you end up with garlicky applesauce!
Once it is done, pour into sterilised jars then cool and store for a couple of months if you have that much patience!