This is a great place to begin. As I launch this blog, I'm running through a mental list of favorite ways to eat fresh vegetables. I hope to research, test and share many creative and healthy recipes throughout the CSA season. There is nothing wrong with simplicity, however. When organically grown vegetables are fresh from the farm, the natural flavors are enough to please your taste buds. And simple dressings can turn something ordinary into gourmet. Around my house, people lick the plates clean when veggies get enough heat to make the colors bloom, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a drizzle of toasted garlic oil. It's a quick, easy, and nutritious way to eat almost everything that comes in your CSA share.
Before you begin, you will need to purchase a glass drizzling bottle (one that can hold about a pint seems to work well). Also, make sure it has a spout large enough to let the pieces of garlic pass through.
1 bulb of fresh garlic
Extra virgin olive oil (about 1 pt.)
Peel the garlic cloves and mince as small as possible. You can use a garlic press, but the texture is not as nice, and the pieces may stick together while cooking. Place the garlic in a medium sauce pan with enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan with about 1/4 inch of oil. Let the oil warm slowly, reaching a simmer on medium-low heat. Stir occasionally. It will take about five minutes to change in color. Toasting garlic is not an exact science, but you will know it's done when it changes to a golden brown color and the aroma is somewhat buttery. When this happens, turn off the heat and let the oil cool. It will continue to cook after the heat is off, so be careful not to scorch the garlic.
When the oil is cool enough to touch, pour into the drizzling vessel. You may need to use a spoon or a funnel to get the garlic pieces into the bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with extra virgin olive oil and swirl to blend. On the first day of preparation, the oil will not have as much garlic flavor, but as it has time to infuse it will become more aromatic.
Drizzle generously over steamed vegetables, baked potatoes or sweet potatoes, bread, fish...and basically anything else.
*Some recipes use olive oil for this part of the recipe, but because of the potential for de-naturing the oil due to it's lower smoke point, canola oil is used. Canola oil also is rich in healthy mono-unsaturated fats, but has a higher heating point than olive oil. Read the following articles for more information about canola and olive oils: