garlic-150x150 Garlic, a universally loved seasoning for many dishes. At Camp Korey we create a culinary experience for our campers, taking them on a journey to try new dishes that veer away from the typical camp fare. Garlic is used often in our kitchen, so it’s lucky for us we grow and harvest several different kinds down at our organic garden! It’s not unusual for summer campers to explore our garlic garden, learning about the many varieties and uses.  They enjoy garlic in many of the meals they eat throughout their week at Camp Korey as its used to enhance the flavors of many popular dishes. Weekly campers enjoy making their own pizzas down at our outdoor pizza oven, using a homemade marinara sauce prepared at the Camp Korey kitchen. Learn more about this popular kitchen extra below!

From the Garden – Rosy Smit, Culinary Gardener

Garlic is in the allium family, along with onions, leeks, shallots and chives.  Easy to grow, garlic has been used for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal purposes.

At Camp Korey, we grow 4 varieties; Early Italian Purple, Inchelium Red, both of which are softnecks, and Turkish Giant and Vietnamese Red, which are hardnecks. All have different sized bulbs and flavor profiles.  Softneck garlic grows well in milder climates, is typically quicker to mature and stores better than hardneck varieties.  Hardnecks are hardier, typically form fewer but larger bulbs than softneck varieties and form “scapes”,  a long central stalk that can be used in cooking.

Our garlic growing motto is…re-plant the best and EAT the rest!  Garlic is very easy to grow; cloves are planted here in October and harvested in early summer so it grows over the winter and spring months.  Our softneck varieties store better than the others so we are still using garlic in our kitchens right now that was harvested last summer!

To the Table – Tana Mielke, Executive Chef

Campers make their own pizzas with fresh ingredients from our garden. The homemade marinara sauce made in the Camp Korey kitchen includes garlic!
Campers make their own pizzas with fresh ingredients from our garden. The homemade marinara sauce made in the Camp Korey kitchen includes garlic!

I have always loved garlic! What is surprising is that I grew up in a garlic-free house. Can you imagine? In fact, one of three (awful) vitamins my parents insisted I take – the same horse pills I often stashed somewhere deep in my sock drawer – was a garlic pill. They understood the health benefits, but hated the smell and forbade me to ever use it in the house. They have since come around. My first real garlic experience was when I was 16. My sister and I had gone out to dinner and with the bread, there were whole roasted cloves of elephant garlic, warm and still wrapped in their papery shells. There may be nothing better than warm bread slathered in oily sweet garlic with a touch of salt (TRY THIS!). From then, I have been hooked.

It is difficult for me to think of a savory recipe that doesn’t benefit from garlic. Although garlic is most commonly used in its mature state, consisting of a tight bulb of paper wrapped cloves, there are many ways to enjoy that familiar flavor long before their harvest and curing.

Cookie with scapes! During the spring months you will see these little bundles of spears in your early season farmer’s markets and grocers. They are a treat and only available once a year, so take advantage! Blanch them as you would a green bean, then sauté them in butter or olive oil. A little salt, lemon, chili (maybe some anchovy). Delicious! Our campers love them in their Korean chicken rice bowls or as a simple side. They are slightly sweet, crunchy and impart just the right amount of garlic flavor. Bonus: “they look cool.”