Guest Author - Jason Hodge
There's something about garlic that you've gotta love. From pastas, sauces, breads, spreads and everything in between an infusion of garlic can make an ordinary meal extraordinary. Here's a simple yet mouthwatering recipe for you garlic lovers that'll pick up almost every dish that calls for that garlic nuance you just shouldn't live without.
Mouthwatering Garlic Spread Recipe
1 lb Earth Balance Margarine
1 fist of fresh organic garlic [crush each clove and remove the skin]
1/8 cup of organic minced sun dried tomatoes [I usually place them in oil to soften for when I'm ready to use]
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons fennel seeds [whole]
4 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
8 fresh mint leaves
8 fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon dill seed
1 tablespoon fresh dill weed
1 tablespoon black olives [oil cured - remove pits]
1 teaspoon organic tomato paste
2 teaspoons minced dehydrated onion
When you're making this in a hurry throw everything in a food processor and process until everything is combined to your liking. I prefer the individual ingredients to retain some of their texture, so I make sure not to process them too long. I like the individual flavors to stand out in different bites. If you process too long and everything is broken down to the point where you can't identify the individual ingredients, you'll still have a great spread but it will lose a lot of its conversation and 'the dance' on your taste buds.
I love 'the dance'.
After you've processed to your desired consistency use a spatula and scoop the contents out of your food processor and either return to your Earth Balance container or place in a covered glass dish [I prefer the glass dish] and refrigerate. The longer you let stand before using the more your flavors will permeate the spread reaching a happy balance.
[If you don't have a food processor, no worries! You can just combine everything in a bowl with a potato masher or fork. You'll just have to make sure that you chop your ingredients up before you add them to the bowl. The rest of the process stays the same.]
Now for the great part...
You can take this spread and add it to the finish of your pasta and grain dishes, incorporate it into your gravies and sauces, add it to your sautes or spread it on some artisan olive or rosemary bread for an out-of-this-world garlic bread experience. Use it to top fresh oven baked rolls or as an interesting addition and unique, tasty twist to the occasional croissant. To do this, simply melt a portion of this spread down in a bowl and use it to baste with. It'll impart an aromatic infusion of flavor to those flaky layers. Use it in or on mashed potatoes, to saute your veggies, while making tofu. Use it on grilled cheese sandwiches, on your pizza dough underneath the toppings, etc.
[If you're not completely vegetarian or vegan or you are making that transition, you can use it as a flavor-filled condiment for your eggs, fish, chicken, other poultry, etc.]
The list can literally go on as I'm sure you get the point. This one spread alone will open up a world of possibilities for you in your vegetarian kitchen that you may not have dreamed of.
As an aside...
The health applications of garlic are innumerous and, when used properly, you can experience great benefits from it and in a very tasty way.
If you have any questions or comments at all I'd love to here from you. Drop me a line in the forum, click on the 'contact' link to the right of the article and or join my Vegetarian Resource Newsletter. You'll be be happy you did.
As always... It's been great sharing with you. Until next time...