April is National Garlic Month and April 19 is National Garlic Day. I'm a long-time garlic lover and my only regret from my time in California was I never made it to the Garlic Festival in Gilroy - well, and not making it to the Artichoke Festival in Castro. But I thought in celebration of the month I'd feature a few recipes that include garlic.
Roast leg of lamb is one of my absolute favorite meals. I love lamb anyway, but roasting seems to bring out the best in it. This particular recipe is adapted from several Greek recipes and features traditional flavors like lemon, garlic and rosemary. Although the photograph is of a whole, bone-in leg of lamb you can also find smaller boned legs. Stuff any leftover lamb into pita halves with lettuce, onion and some tzatziki sauce, or use it to make a shepherd's pie.
Gremolata is a combination of lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and olive oil. Traditionally an addition to Osso Bucco (braised veal shanks), it is also great as a garnish on grilled or roasted lamb, pork chops, beef, and even roasted potatoes. Gremolata is best made fresh, it doesn't keep for more than a day, but is also best if it has an hour or so before serving for the flavors to meld. Fortunately it only takes about 5 minutes to make.
"Tzatziki" is the Greek name for this yogurt-based sauce recipe, but variants on it are found throughout the Middle East. My version uses roasted garlic, which gives it a milder flavor. If you want a bit more pungency, add a small clove of finely chopped garlic.
We tend to think of mayonnaise as a sandwich spread, and in doing so we miss some of its best applications. Instead, think of mayonnaise as a cold hollandaise sauce and all sorts of options open up. For instance, it's great on asparagus, fish, chicken, artichokes, broccoli, and on and on. These recipes include two variations featuring garlic.
How do you make garlic bread with loads of garlic flavor but without the harshness of raw garlic? You roast the garlic first and use lots of it. The result is packed with garlic flavor but still mellow and the parmesan cheese I add helps produce a delicately crisp crust. I've had people choose a second helping of garlic bread over a second helping of my lasagna - I didn't know whether to be hurt or flattered.
Unlike most of the recipes here at Cooking for Two, this recipe does not make two servings. In fact it quite deliberately makes far more than two servings because it's part of my series called "Making the Most of…". These are recipes that require some time and effort on Saturday or Sunday, but then pay back big time-saving benefits the rest of the week in new dishes using the leftovers. In this case the chicken is flavored with fresh herbs, garlic, lemon and butter then slow-roasted to produce a juicy, perfectly cooked bird.
Leeks are a wonderfully mild member of the onion family frequently served with potatoes in soups and gratins. They also happen to be a cold weather vegetable making them another great vegetable choice during the winter months. In this recipe the leeks are blanched, then topped with garlic flavored butter, lemon zest, and buttered bread crumbs. This is a great side dish for almost any meal.