A member of the onion family, garlic is a native of southern Europe and was extensively cultivated and used liberally in cooking by Mediterranean peoples since the beginnings of civilisation.
Garlic is used raw and cooked, from salads to sauces, in soups and stews. It is prominent in the food cultures of France, Italy and Spain, especially in sauces.
The white garlic of the Polesine in north-east Italy is regarded as among the best in Europe.
French and Spanish garlic is also special to several traditional dishes. See lists below.
The ‘white gold of the Polesine’ is the white garlic associated with the classic traditional Italian dish of spaghetti with garlic, oil and peperoncino.
Not as pungent as other garlics, these bulbs, grown throughout Veneto, contain cloves that emit a pleasant earthy aroma. Freshly crushed, they are tantilising and perfect on bruschetta.
8 slices ciabatta 150 g of tomatoes, diced 20 g olive oil 10 g anchovies, mashed in olive oil 4 cloves white garlic, crushed, chopped fine 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
Toast bread on both sides, spread each slice with garlic, then anchovies, tomatoes and finally pepper. Dress each slice with a drizzle of olive oil.
Traditional Garlic DishesAjoarriero SPAIN Salt Cod, Red Peppers, Tomatoes Frityrstekt Bacalao med Hvitløksaus NORWAY Deep Fried Bacalao with Garlic Sauce Genoa Pesto ITALY Basil, Cheese, Garlic Olive Oil and Pine Nuts Paste Humus EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN Chickpea, Garlic, Olive Oil and Sesame Seed Paste Marengo FRANCE Brandy, Garlic and Tomato Sauce Meatballs-Attriaux FRANCE Pork, Liver, Garlic, Onion Mushrooms with Garlic and Olive Oil MEDITERRANEAN Pa amb Tomaquet ANDORRA Garlic and Tomato Toast Pain Bagnia/Pan-Bagnat FRANCE Garlic, Olive Oil Marinaded Bread Risotto col Brodo di Pesce dell’artusi ITALY olive oil, carrot, celery, garlic, onion, parsley, seasonings, passata, vialone, fish stock, butter, grana padano, dried porcini Risotto con Carciofi ITALY olive oil, garlic, onion, artichoke hearts, vegetable stock, marjoram, butter, onion, white wine, carnaroli, artichoke mixture, cream, parmigiano Risotto con Gamberi ITALY olive oil, carrot, celery, garlic, onion, parsley, unshelled prawns, seasonings, passata, baldo, water, prawn paste, butter, parmigiano Risotto nero alla Fiorentina dell’artusi ITALY olive oil, garlic, onion, cuttlefish, cuttlefish ink, chard, arborio, fish stock, butter, parmigiano Risotto con le Vongole ITALY olive oil, garlic, white wine, clams, carnaroli, seasonings, parsley Salo UKRAINE Garlic-flavoured Pork Fat on Bread Salsa Peposa ROMAN garlic/onions, juniper berries, lovage, rosemary, peppercorns, reduced red wine Sauce-Green Mojo CANARY ISLANDS cilantro, garlic, green peppers, parsley, salt, olive oil, vinegar, water, white wine Sauce-Red Mojo CANARY ISLANDS garlic, olive oil, paprika peppers/chilli peppers, sweet red peppers, wine vinegar, salt, cumin-optional Sauce-New Romesco CATALONIA fried bread, dried red nora chilli, dried red peppers, garlic, olive oil, toasted almonds, toasted hazelnuts, tomatoes, white wine, wine vinegar Sauce-Old Romesco CATALONIA bread, garlic, olive oil, toasted almonds, toasted hazelnuts, wine vinegar Sauce-Sofregit CATALONIA garlic, olive oil, onions, tomatoes, salt, vegetables-optional, white wine Sauce-Roasted Pepper EUROPE garlic, green peppers, olive oil, tomato sauce Sauce-Vin Rouge FRANCE mirepoix/fish stock, butter-1, red wine, garlic, mushrooms, butter-2, anchovies, cayenne/paprika Sauce-Rouille FRANCE SPAIN garlic, paprika peppers, white bread Sauce-Battuto/Soffritto ITALY diced carrots, celery, garlic, onion, parsley, olive oil, prosciutto-optional, tomatoes-optional Sauce-Sala di Pomodoro ITALY basil, celery, garlic, onion, parsley, olive oil, salt, white pepper, tomatoes Sauce-Tarator TURKEY garlic, lemon juice, sesame seed paste-Tahini Skordalia GREECE Garlic, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Potatoes, Walnuts Smør Kylling SCANDINAVIA Butter, Garlic Chicken Spaghetti Aio e Oio ITALY Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic and Chillies Stoficado FRANCE Cod, Garlic, Olive, Onion, Potato, Red Pepper, Tomato Stew Tahini CYPRUS Garlic, Lemon, Olive Oil, Tahini Paste Tapenade FRANCE Capers, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Olives with Anchovy
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