Fresh garlic

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ClaireMereClaireMere

So our All Local Farmer's market is starting to heat up. For the last few months only the Italian guy in the toga (his son goofily and dutifully helping while dressed as a centurion) selling Roman cheese & dried pasta and the artisan baker have been holding court with the honey guy and the vine-woven-baskets guy. The greens are starting to come in!

And today we made friends with a new couple who were selling big bulbs of fresh garlic. The garlics looked like medium sized leeks but with bulbous ends. They were bursting with health, firm and shiny and smooth as glass. We got one after chatting with the couple a bit. With our southwestern lunch, I shaved off the end and put thin slices on as though it were a large and potent scallion.

The flavor was fascinating. The texture is exactly like a scallion and the outer layers are indeed as mild as a scallion, crisp with hidden water. But the inner layers were indeed garlicky, but were, again, crisp and wet as only fresh produce can be. It was very puzzling and wonderful to the tongue - it had some of the heat of dried garlic but without the final punch that can make you regret adding to much raw.

I have plenty left and I don't have a plan yet what to use it in. I'm definitely going to sauté it in place of dried garlic for something I make this week to see how the flavor survives cooking. It may be too delicate and fresh to add much once cooked.

Anyone ever had this? At $4 a head it's a bit pricey to buy every week but was totally worth the exploration. Any suggestions for how I handle the rest of it?

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