I have a deep and abiding love for garlic. My view is that most foods can only be made better with the liberal use of garlic. And garlic is one of those foods that I feel is made even better if you grow it yourself. So much so that a week before I was married, you could find me in our backyard garden with an umbrella over my head, trying to get 18 different kinds of garlic planted on the only day I had free before I had to get a manicure for my wedding. Yes – I'm that crazy for garlic.
(And Charlie is that crazy for garlic tops)
I had an acquaintance in college that was very outspoken on the "rule" that you should never order garlicky foods if you were going out on a hot date. She had a lot of dumb rules like this because she was the sort of person that would never do something so gauche as wear white after labor day. Quite frankly, I thought she was as dumb as a box of hair and I always made a point of traipsing through my dorm in a white sundress the day after Labor Day just to irritate her(and the dumbest thing was that it DID irritate her). But while I thought that most of her views were merely stupid, the rule against garlic on a hot date was pure evil in my view. Garlic is one of those things that makes life better and the idea of being involved with a man who I couldn't share garlicky kisses with? Why bother? Kisses shared over a hot loaf of garlic bread and a cheap bottle of red wine – THAT, my friend, is the kind of passion pool I long to dive into.
A few years ago, my husband and I got into the habit of making pizza once a week on Fridays. It's so much less expensive than ordering one and the pizza is so much better. Plus it's fun to experiment with different toppings. I'm certainly a fan of the traditional when it comes to pizza but I'm never disappointed when we try something new.
If you've never tried growing garlic, why not try it this year? For those of you that plant your own garlic, you can't go wrong with Applegate, Red Toch, Metechi, Morado Gigante, Inchelium Red and Tennessee Redneck. Those varieties are my personal favorites. If you've got a square foot of growing space, you can grow garlic. It's so worth it.
Tonight? I've got a bottle of cheap, red wine and leftover pizza drowning in roasted garlic. I've got a hot husband to share it with who thinks passionate garlic kisses are the bee's knees. I'm a very lucky woman.
Here is my current favorite pizza crust recipe – we've used this for years with great results. For the recipe below, we used about a third of the dough, rolled out into a 12-inch pizza. Please read that post for all my tips on making good pizza.
Roasted Garlic, Gruyère and Rosemary Pizza
Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese(this is about 4 ounces)
2 teaspoon minced rosemary
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated black pepper
1 head roasted garlic (see note below)
Balsamic Glaze (see note below)
Unbaked 12-inch pizza crust of your choice
Heat oven to 500 degrees. After oven is heated, place pizza stone in oven for at least 45 minutes.
After rolling out dough, sprinkle with cheese. Then sprinkle evenly with rosemary and pepper. Transfer pizza to pizza stone in oven using parchment paper and bake for eight minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Remove pizza from oven. Let cool for about a minute. Squeeze garlic out of papery skin onto pizza and gently spread with a knife. Drizzle with balsamic glaze (we ended up using about a tablespoon). Cut into pieces and serve.
To Make Roasted Garlic – Cut the tips off of ends of a head of garlic. Put in small baking pan lined with foil. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
To Make Balsamic Glaze – Put 1 cup balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Try to dodge the fumes when making this so you don't pass out. When boiling, turn heat to medium and reduce by about half. This took us 20 minutes. Cool and store in refrigerator.