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Gilroy Garlic Festival

Gilroy, California - Garlic Capital of the World

Once again, this year in Gilroy, California they hosted the 33rd Annual Garlic Festival. This is held yearly the end of July. This event has helped in raising the public’s awareness of, and the taste for garlic.

Gilroy is the Garlic Capital of the World, and the sweet aroma of the “stinking rose” is famous for miles across the Santa Clara Valley. Sixty million pounds of fresh California garlic are produced each year and shipped to stores.

Be advised that you can expect to have your taste buds tickled. Imagine tasting garlic scampi, stuffed garlic mushrooms, garlic fries, stir-fry, French fried garlic artichoke hearts, garlic chocolate…. and even garlic ice cream.

But it’s not just the garlic – it’s three days of food, beverages, and live entertainment.

Festival guest can purchase food and beverages form the vendors, with prices ranging between $2 and $12 depending on the item. Foods are full-size servings, not just samples.

Roasted Garlic, Corn and Cheese Sticks

2 cups coarsely shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 cup flour
½ cup masa (corn flour)
½ cup butter, cut into pieces
¼ cup cornmeal
1-2 Tbsp. roasted garlic cloves
1 tsp. Mexican seasoning blend
2 Tbsp. water

• Put all ingredients – except the water- into food processor
• Process until the mixture forms large crumbs
• Lift it out and knead a few times to form a soft dough
• (You can make this up to 1 week ahead and store it tightly covered in the fridge)
• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and put parchment paper on 2 large cookie sheets
• Make one inch balls of dough- then roll the dough into 8 inch long sticks on a lightly floured counter or board
• If the dough separates a bit, just squeeze it together
• Put the dough sticks on the parchment paper on the cookie sheets
• Bake for 20 minutes or until browned lightly

Makes about 3 dozen cheese sticks – store in an airtight container.

Garlic Festival 5-Cheese Pizza

Turn the oven on to 450 degrees to preheat.

Place 3 individual pizza crusts on a large cookie sheet

In a medium bowl- stir together I cup part-skim ricotta cheese, ¼ cut Cheddar, ¼ cup Jack cheese, ¼ cup mozzarella and ¼ Parmesan cheese, 2 Tbsp pesto, 6 cloves of minced garlic and one egg. Put an equal amount on each crust.

Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.

Serve this as an appetizer, or a side dish. YUM!

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