Friday, December 30, 2011

Garlic Bounty = Pickled Garlic

Christmas always brings the best foods!  Of course we have delicious meals, but I'm referring to stockings filled with spices, special salt, dried herbs, and lots of garlic from Arrowleaf Farms (Big J's brother and partner's farm in Oregon). 
Lots of garlic!
 As Big J and I consolidated our garlic stashes and decided that we probably couldn't use it all before it sprouted so we decided to pickle some.  Pickled garlic is actually a pretty easy process, although it can be time consuming since the cloves have to be peeled and trimmed. 
Cloves ready to blanch.
 Thankfully that process is made a bit easier by blanching the garlic cloves for 30-45 seconds.
Naked cloves!   

 With the garlic prepped it becomes a matter of minutes!

Pickling Brine  
(for about 12 heads of garlic)
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon kosher or pickling salt (not table salt!)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Bring brine to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute.  Add garlic cloves and simmer for another minute.

Have 8 oz jars prepped and ready to go.  Spoon garlic into jars along with liquid.  Leave about 1/4-1/2 inch of headspace.

To each jar add:
1 sprig rosemary
1 small bayleaf
10 peppercorns
1 dried chili pepper (optional)

My winter-over rosemary is pretty sparse!

Center the lids on the jars (carefully, because the pepper will want to escape!), and screw the jar band down to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in the canner (they should be completely covered in water).  Return water to a boil and process for 10 minutes with the lid on.  Remove lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
Our outdoor canning set up. 
The original recipe I consulted stated that 12 heads of garlic would yield 5 8-ounce jars.  We used about 22 heads and ended up with 7 jars.  I'm looking forward to using the garlic in salads, as pickles, and also in martinis!

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