May 2008
The Herb Farm

Garlic

by H. T. Farmer

What’s that lovely aroma in your house? I was asked this recently by a friend who was funning with me about my fragrant kitchen as I was baking pizzas for dinner. The key ingredient that is always on my pizzas is garlic. Even on pizzas with pesto as the base sauce, I will add fresh garlic as a topping.

Garlic (Allium sativum) is an herb that has been widely used for its culinary and medicinal properties since at least 2570 BC. I write, "since at least" because information regarding the approximate establishment of cultivated garlic isn’t recorded. However, we do know workers on the Great Pyramid of Giza used garlic and that structure was completed in 2570 BC.

I have grown garlic for more than 30 years and I must say it is one of the easiest herbs to grow. It is hardy in all of the United States except Alaska.

Culinary uses include sauces, spreads, rubs or just eat it whole! I made a garlic roaster from a three-inch terra cotta flowerpot and saucer. I use this apparatus to roast garlic for making spreads and butters.

How to roast garlic: cut the top from a whole bulb of garlic to expose all of the cloves. Drizzle olive oil on top. Salt and pepper to taste. (Some folks leave off the salt because garlic has a naturally salty flavor.) Place top on your garlic roaster and then microwave for one minute on high.

(Microwave temperatures vary, so you may have to adjust the time.) Also, you may want to place the roaster in a toaster oven. Roast garlic at 350° for 30 minutes or until garlic is soft inside its skin. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins and knife it onto toast or fold it into softened butter for a tasty spread!

Next month, I’ll tell you more about garlic including some cautions with its use and blood pressure medications.

If you have difficulty finding this herb in your local stores, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I’ll try to help!

Thanks for reading!

As always; check with an expert, like your doctor, before using this or any other herbal remedy.