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Using Up Heaps of Late-Harvest Garlic

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Q. What does one do with 100+ heads of garlic that were not harvested in late summer, but rather in late fall, and have lost their skins but are otherwise whole and somewhat flavorful?

A. Clearly — and we say this after much research — no cookbook tells you what to do with aged, brow-beaten, characterless, down-trodden, eviscerated, flavorless, grim, holdover, insipid, jejune, kelp-like, lackluster, mealy, numbing, ordinary, pathetic, quotidian, repugnant, sad, tasteless, uninspiring, vacuous, weak, xanthic, yeasty, zymotic (or nearly fermenting) garlic — especially in 100-head lots.

While we're on the subject, what were you going to do with 100+ heads of garlic anyway? Once properly dried, they only retain their full flavor for about two months. Were you intending to consume 12 heads of garlic a week on average for the next two months? Are there enough Altoids in the world to mask that level of garlic consumption?

In the language of garlic growers farmers, harvesting the bulbs too late forces the cloves to pop out of their skins, making them susceptible to disease and rendering them unmarketable. Normally, garlic is dried over about 20 days at 70°F (or 10 to 14 days at 80°F) with lots of air movement. Since you weren't planning to sell the garlic, it seems to us that your problem is simply one of using up a whole lot of garlic before it loses all potency, in recipes that don't require the heads to be intact or the cloves to be in their skins.

So in the absence of recipes for late-harvested garlic, we looked for recipes that use a whole lot of garlic at once. And where else would one turn than to The Complete Garlic Lovers' Cookbook (Canada, UK), compiled by the garlic fanatics of the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association? Slogging through page by page, we tried to find the best-looking recipes that use the most skinned garlic. We found many, but in our determination not to republish whole cookbooks online, think you might like to consider the following:

And your garlic is a little xanthic, right — a little on the yellow side? Otherwise that first sentence just doesn't work at all….

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