Skip to content

Garlic as a vegetable, and as medicine

Garlic and broccoflower pasta. They probably smelled it all the way to Danbury.

Last night I went to bed at 10 and fell asleep immediately. I woke up and looked at the clock. It said 6:10 a.m. I thought the clock was wrong, because I thought I had just gone to bed. Deep sleep like this is not the rule for those of us of Boomer age. I used to think I would never sleep through the night again without getting up, but now I often sleep through the night. Partly, I’m sure, it’s because it’s so quiet here. And partly it’s because my stress level is a tiny fraction of what it was in San Francisco. But I’m beginning to suspect there is another factor — garlic.

I ate an entire head of raw garlic with my supper last night. If you Google for “garlic and sleep,” you’ll find that there is indeed some evidence that garlic promotes sound sleep. Last night’s garlic was in a pesto that I made from fresh basil from my garden. The tomatoes are gone, and their old vines have been sent to the compost bin. But the basil is flourishing. Still, who wants pesto every night. It’s hard to think of dishes that can tolerate raw garlic in large quantities.

I’m running an experiment tonight. I had another entire head of garlic with dinner. In the fridge there was a head of broccoflower that I bought at the Food Lion in Walnut Cove. I sautéed the broccoflower in coconut oil, to which I added a bit of white wine mixed with vegetable boullion to control the temperature. I’ve gotten in the habit of tossing cooked pasta in brewer’s yeast before I add the pasta to whatever it’s going in. I threw in some olive oil and some pepper. I ate it all, with no guilt.

Remember that garlic needs to be crushed or minced and allowed to sit for a while before you eat it to allow that magical garlic chemical reaction to take place. I like to add salt to the garlic during this process. It helps make the garlic sweat, and the salt zings the garlicky flavor. There’s no reason in the world why garlic shouldn’t be treated like a vegetable, instead of as seasoning. Except for social reasons. Around here, there’s only the cat to notice, and she seems to like garlic breath.

Maybe you have to be an old hippy like me to appreciate dishes like this. Google for terms like “garlic and health.” It’s fine medicine. Cheap, too, even if you buy the good garlic from Gilroy.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *