Thursday, 17 February 2011

Persian pearls pickled in Portugal

What to do on a wet February morning in the Algarve, when the rain is beating down outside and the quality of natural light is not good enough for practical maintenance tasks.  Pickle some garlic.When we were in London recently I found myself one evening in our hosts' kitchen, glass of wine in one hand while my other hand picked at a bowl of pickled garlic on the table. This pickled garlic is obtainable in all the local Turkish, Asian and Iranian stores along Stoke Newington High Street.I vowed I would try pickling my own when I returned home.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to pickle garlic? Maybe you've never really thought about it before, but pickled garlic is a great addition to many dishes including salads and cold pastas. If you are already au fait with the great taste of pickled garlic, then you know from buying it at the store that it can be a pretty expensive item. But you can pickle garlic on your own for a relatively low cost. And when you pickle garlic it lasts for quite a long time, so it's something you can try once. See how it goes, and reap the rewards from many meals later.
  •  When buying your garlic, you should select whole bulbs of garlic that are fresh and ready to be used. Buy organic garlic straight from the farmer's market or simply buy the garlic from your local store. You'll also need vinegar and Flor de sal. Other ingredients that you might want to think about for the recipe are red bell peppers, carrots, onion, celery, spices, and possibly sugar if you want to to sweeten it up a bit. Pickled garlic originated In Persia.It is either served on its own to accompany "a pair of teef" or used in cooking instead of fresh garlic.The pickling mellows and changes the flavour of the garlic, enriching it with a delicate, elusive perfume. 
  • 250ml (1.7 fl oz) white wine vinegar
  • Tablespoon sea salt
  • 500g (1lb) fresh garlic                           
  • Put the Vinegar and salt in a non-corrosive pan. Bring to the boil and boil for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  • Separate the garlic cloves and blanch for 30 seconds to ease the removing of the skin.
  • Blanch the garlic again in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and put into sterilized jars. Pour in the vinegar, weight down the garlic, then seal.
Be patient, the pickling process isn't a quick one. It takes anywhere from 2-4 weeks to pickle garlic so that it has a good rich spicy taste. When you think it's ready, take it out and test it. If it tastes the way that you want it to taste, you can start using the pickled garlic in pastas, salads and even as relish on sandwiches. You can even eat it by itself!- Gout sufferers ,its great for the gout.

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