Italian Black Summer Truffles
Black summer truffles are more subtle than the winter variety. Shave truffle over cooked potatoes, toss with herbs and a shallot vinaigrette. Thinly shave truffle over scrambled eggs.
It is the only lettuce type that does not occur in red form as well as green. Iceberg is the given name to dozens of cultivars of lettuce, all of which are adapted to specific planting regions and time periods.
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Garlic roots are available in the spring and can sometimes be found at your local farmers market.
Garlic roots are an uncommon culinary ingredient, primarily because they are generally trimmed from the bulb and discarded after harvest. They are considered an almost obscure secondary crop for garlic growers. The plant in its entirety, has one of the largest genomes of all cultivated plants. Botanically named Allium Sativum, garlic is a member of the lily family along with chives, shallots and onions.
Garlic roots are the taproots of an individual garlic bulb. Dozens of thin wiry taproots descend from the bulbous root during garlic's growing cycle, establishing the plant and continuing to act as the plant's food seeker, absorbing nutrients from the soil. While the garlic roots are white, they have been tinted with tones of sand and dirt, suggesting where they come from. These colors do not play into the flavor though. Garlic roots hold less the bite of the bulb and more of a subtle overture of garlic flavor. Notes of savory pepper act as a teaser to what is to come, yet there is no shocking after bite, just a mellow finish. Cooked garlic roots become even more mellow with a hint of nutty sweetness.
Garlic roots can be used raw or cooked in various applications and countless recipes. Comparable to the less robust flavor of green garlic, they can be added to fresh salads, infused into cooking oils for applications such as sautéing fish, seafood, chicken, potatoes and even fried eggs. Garlic roots can be used to impart flavor in soups, while also being added as a visual element to garlic soup itself. They can be added to pasta and legume dishes, tossed in as a finishing touch with noodles, cream and cheese sauces or blanched fava beans. Pair garlic roots with fresh, spring vegetables such as asparagus, morels, green herbs, peas, leeks and fiddlehead ferns. It is well documented that garlic-cloves-in-oil mixtures stored at room temperature create a dangerous environment for the growth of the deadly toxin, Clostridium botulinum. This has not been investigated for the roots themselves but should be taken into consideration.
Garlic roots are not new to the horticultural landscape; all plants require a root system to grow. Their roadmap began with wild garlic. All garlic cultivars are considered to be derived from ten specific varieties of garlic that evolved in the Caucasus Mountains between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Garlic has been altered over time by natural and intentional selection, ever changing growing conditions, such as soil fertility, rainfall, temperature, altitude, length and severity of winter and as trade routes were evolved and extended garlic would become naturalized in often unnatural climates. The single most important non-variable among all garlic varieties is that, when planted, one clove of garlic yields one bulb of garlic.
Recipes that include Garlic Roots. One is easiest, three is harder.