Special of the Day: Garlic Galore!

12 Aug Special of the Day: Garlic Galore!

Garlic Butter Buns

Garlic Butter Buns


Having grown up spending summers on our family wheat ranch, I have fond memories of wide open spaces blanketed by checker-boarded wheat fields as far as the eye can see, rides on the combine with my dad who always shared his sourball and butterscotch candies and the many marvelous picnics-in-the-field my mom prepared and stylishly served off the back of the pickup tailgate for all of us over the years. As soon as July rolls around and the excitement begins to build for harvest, I look forward once again to summer field trips to the farm to visit.

It’s always an adventure with my eternally youthful and energetic mom, who is, at all times, engaged in learning something new, be it travel, cooking, gardening or writing.

Our most recent visit to the farm included an immersion for our daughter Madison and me into digging, cleaning and braiding the garlic that my mom and dad had planted in their expansive garden plot alongside the tomatoes, corn, Chinese lanterns and raspberries.

After a thorough scrubbing to remove all of the dirt embedded in the roots, the garlic bulbs with stalks still attached were nestled between damp towels to soften the stalks, making them pliable enough to braid.

Cocktail hour conversation with Mom over Moscow Mules and garlic braiding on the patio had us chatting about all things garlic including garlic’s legendary claims of warding off evil spirits and vampires and the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. As for me, I was selfishly dreaming up all of the things I would do with my garlic when I got home and had time to get cooking in the kitchen!

That evening at dinner at the farm, we savored the fruits of our labor: slow-roasted garlic with balsamic vinegar served with Mom’s freshly baked artisan bread, garlicky goodness at its best. Then, driving off into the sunset, we headed home to create some culinary delights of our own with garlic galore.

Gather up some garlic and get cooking with this week’s Special of the Day: Garlic Galore! and recipes for Spicy Garlic Parmesan Dip with Grilled Vegetables, Grilled Garlic Shrimp Caesar Salad and Garlic Butter Buns. Enjoy!

Spicy Garlic Parmesan Dip with Grilled Vegetables

Spicy Garlic Parmesan Dip with Grilled Vegetables

Spicy Garlic Parmesan Dip with Grilled Vegetables

(serves 4)

½ cup real mayonnaise

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

Dash salt

¼ tsp. (or more, to taste) crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk all dip ingredients in medium mixing bowl to combine. Transfer to small baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve hot with grilled red bell pepper strips, grilled yellow bell pepper strips and grilled asparagus tips.


Grilled Garlic Shrimp Caesar Salad

Grilled Garlic Shrimp Caesar Salad

Grilled Garlic Shrimp Caesar Salad

(serves 4)

Marinate the shrimp:

1 pound Easy Peel wild white shrimp (16-20 per pound), thawed

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp. salt

1 tbsp. white wine (or lemon juice)

Combine shrimp and marinade ingredients in large sealable plastic bag. Distribute marinade around shrimp, seal bag and let marinade for about 30 minutes.

When ready to serve:

Preheat barbecue grill to 350 degrees.

Brush a grill pan with olive oil and set on grill to preheat.

Remove shrimp from marinade and grill just until opaque.

Remove from grill.

Make the Caesar salad dressing:

½ tsp. anchovy paste

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

½ tsp. red wine vinegar

1 tbsp. olive oil

Dash salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mash anchovy paste and garlic in bottom of large salad bowl with fork. Whisk in remaining dressing ingredients until incorporated.

Toss in:

1 head romaine lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces

½ cup Parmesan cheese shreds

Season with freshly ground pepper.

Arrange on salad plates and top with grilled garlic shrimp and additional parmesan.


Garlic Butter Buns

Garlic Butter Buns

Garlic Butter Buns

(makes 12)

12 Rhodes rolls, thawed

¼ cup butter, melted

1 clove garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix melted butter and garlic.

Brush garlic butter in the bottom of mid-sized muffin tin (12).

Place a thawed roll on top of the garlic butter. Brush tops of rolls with additional garlic butter.

Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve with garlic butter for dipping.


Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.

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