Greek Chicken with Roasted Lemon, Olives and Capers

Chicken with Roasted Lemons, Green Olives and Capers

This dish has a lot of flavour with only a small number of ingredients, and ingredients you likely have in your pantry.  One of the things I noticed travelling in France and Italy is that many dishes they serve have only a few ingredients, but they choose the ingredients carefully.  This recipe is Greek inspired and it goes well with this Greek Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing recipe and roasted or boiled baby potatoes. Continue reading “Greek Chicken with Roasted Lemon, Olives and Capers”

Greek Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing

Greek Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing

Greek meets Caesar!  This is a bit of a twist on traditional  Greek salad because the Feta cheese is in the dressing, making it creamy and thick.

I used fresh garlic from my garden so it was quite tangy and pungent and garlicky! A friend of mine got me hooked on growing my own fresh garlic.  It is so easy… check out my How To Grow Garlic post if you are interested! Continue reading “Greek Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing”

How to Grow Garlic

Home Grown Garlic

Garlic is so easy to grow in Ontario!  I can’t understand why on earth the garlic you see in grocery stores is from China.  Can it really be cost effective to transport the stuff half way around the globe??

A friend of mine gifted me some home grown garlic a couple of years ago and I have never looked back!  Fresh garlic is so pungent – be warned -you may have to adjust your recipes!  You can see the oil in a bulb when you cut into it for months after it is harvested…so those dry, shriveled bulbs from the store mid-winter – I have to ask myself – how long ago were they harvested?

Our climate in Ontario is so well suited to growing garlic I don’t do any watering, fussing etc at all.. I just plant, prune the scapes in late spring and harvest early summer.

Here is the step by step that I follow:

  1. Buy a good size local garlic bulb. Not the ones from China- they have been treated to stop them from sprouting. (Once you have a crop of your own you can use your own bulbs.)
  2. Garlic should be planted late October/early |November. They don’t like competition so you can use a flower bed that you might use for annuals or a part of your garden that you won’t plant till late May. I have a raised bed that I use to grow tomatoes and it works perfectly -once I pull up the last of the tomato plants I plant the garlic and in the spring when I plant out the young tomato plants they co-exist for a month or so  and then I harvest the garlic.
  3. Split the bulb into individual cloves. Plant each clove, base down, point up about 4″ deep and 8″ apart.
  4. And then…I just leave them.  Our fall  and spring weather tends to be wet enough I have never watered them until perhaps late May if we are going into a drought. (If this was your cash crop you would pay more attention but I am happy with my harvest!)
  5. Somewhere around June time frame you will see a green spiral top-this is called a scape. When the scape has 2 loops cut it off to allow the energy to go into growing the bulb not the scape. You can use the scape in soups, omelettes- pretty much anywhere you want a garlic accent. (They are quite pungent.)
  6. Garlic should not be watered for a few weeks before you harvest the bulbs. If I have had to water in late May, early June I stop after I cut the scapes.  I harvest mine in early July-when the bottom of  the stalk of the garlic turns brown and the top few leaves are still green. I just pull them up gently and leave about 6″ of stalk on them.
  7. Do not leave bulbs in sunlight – it will make them bitter.  Gently brush off as much soil as possible and hang a bunch of stalks (6-12) in a dark, cool place. A root cellar is perfect, a fridge is too cool and moist (garlic will sprout in fridge conditions). I don’t have a root cellar so I just keep them in my garage.  After they have dried for a few weeks I brush off any remaining dirt and damaged skins.
  8. Use throughout the fall and winter!
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