Every time I step into a supermarket or grocery, I marvel at all the produce available here now.
There was a time when good tomatoes were nowhere to be found, when there was but a small selection of apples and let's not even talk about how long it took for kale to get here.
Now, supermarkets stock fingerling potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, banana shallots, countless varieties of apples and other goodies.
On Christmas Eve, a friend gave me some purple garlic.
The heads are striped with purple or have violet splotches.
They yield big, beautiful cloves with complex flavours that the one-note China garlic I usually use cannot match.
While browsing at Culina, I saw a basket of them and had to buy more.
When eaten raw, they taste strongly of leek and there is a certain sweetness under the sharp, hot flavour too.
The big, beautiful cloves mellow out beautifully after roasting. More of that sweetness comes to the fore.
Use the garlic to make the classic dish of Chicken With 40 Cloves Of Garlic or simply slice off the root end, rub the entire head with olive oil and roast for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how large the heads are, in a 180 deg C oven.
Another good way to enjoy them is to chop them fine and mix with softened butter and chopped parsley to make garlic butter.
Purple garlic, $2.80 for 100g from Culina, Block 8 Dempsey Road, 01-13 Dempsey Hill, tel: 6474-7338, open: 10am to 9pm (Monday to Thursday), 9am to 9pm (Friday to Sunday)
This article was first published on January 4, 2015.
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