The Goodness of Garlic | Cooking with Garlic
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE cooking with garlic! For the most part, many of my meals start with a garlic, onion and olive oil base. There are many health benefits to using garlic in your meals and the biggest starts with your heart health. Garlic has been shown to reduce cholesterol and is also an antioxidant. Another wonderful healthy benefit to consuming garlic is the allicin in garlic is also a powerful antibiotic, which fights infection and bacteria.
I am always looking for ways to incorporate a new twist of flavor – and pickled garlic is a great way to incorporate whole garlic cloves into your meal preparation.
Add delicious pickled garlic cloves to your pasta whole or mash the cloves to create a paste to be spread over a baguette or sandwich bread. They make an excellent starter for sauces and soups, and for those of you who love a spicy Bloody Mary, plunk a couple of these bad boys in your glass and let the flavors explode!
Pickled Garlic Cloves – makes about five to six 8-ounce Jars
2 ½ cups white vinegar
1 cup dry white wine – I use Twisted Pinot Grigio from California
1 tbsp pickling or canning salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
5 dried chili peppers – California Chili Pepper (essentially dried Anaheim peppers)
As usual, prepare all of your jars ahead of time and have your lids and rings setting in boiled water. Be sure jars are setting in hot water as this method of jar filling is via hot packing.
Garlic Prep: When I create this recipe I typically double it, so a quick tip for removing so many garlic skins is to blanch your cloves. Remove the garlic from the base of the bulb so that each skinned clove is separated. With skins on, blanch the cloves in boiling water for 1 minute being sure to stir so each clove is thoroughly wet. Remove the cloves using a large slotted spoon and place in ice cold water. Drain. To peel, hold the clove and pairing knife in hand, using your thumb and knife, cut the base of the clove and pull skin towards you.
UPDATE: You may also purchase pre-peeled garlic! Christopher Ranch in California grows non-GMO heirloom garlic. They sell their garlic by the clove or pre-peeled! I purchased their pre-peeled garlic in 3 pound bags at Costco and saved myself hours of prep time when I created another batch late summer!!
In a large stainless steel stock pot, combine vinegar, wine, sugar, oregano and salt. Stir well and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Reduce heat and let boil gently for 1 minute. Set a timer, do not guess. Add whole garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute.
Place 1 chili pepper in each jar. If you are using dried California Red peppers, break a piece off to fit inside each jar being sure to keep the proper headspace. Ladle the hot garlic cloves and juice into hot jars leaving a generous ½” head space. Remove any air bubbles using your canning utensil or the handle of a wooden spoon. Adjust headspace if necessary.
When filling your jars, be sure to keep the garlic clove content higher than the liquid to ensure your jars are proportioned – all the while maintaining the headspace.
Using a warm wash cloth dipped in vinegar, wipe each rim and screw bands. Because of the seasonings, be sure to wipe the inner part of the jar rim to avoid seasonings rising to the rim. Place lids and rings on each jar and hand tighten.
Place jars in water bather and cover with water. Process the jars for 10 minutes. Remember, processing time doesn’t begin until the water is at a full rolling boil.
The Canning Diva