STONINGTON — Jorge Castañeda has been growing garlic for 35 years.
“Garlic was my mother’s favorite ingredient,” Castañeda said.
The Mexico City native recalled an aioli his Spanish mother would make in her mortar with a pestle, just garlic and oil.
Castañeda has tried recreating the dish using a food processor but said it’s not the same.
Growing garlic can be as challenging as trying to recreate an aioli recipe.
Garlic needs good drainage and a mostly neutral soil, Castañeda said.
Dusting his garlic plot with rock phosphate made a difference in the crop.
He will plant garlic bulbs from this year’s harvest either the last week of September or the first week of October.
Jorge’s Mojo de Ajo
6 heads of Jorge’s garlic (24 cloves)
1½ cups of virgin olive oil
3 good-sized limes
dash of cayenne
Peel and slice the garlic 1/8-inch thick or run through food processor.
Put in Pyrex pie mold, spread the garlic and make sure is all covered with oil, add a little more if needed.
Bake at 300 F for 30 minutes, mash with a strong fork, add the juice of the limes and a dash of cayenne, mix well and let it bake for another 15 minutes.
Let it cool and blend briefly, store in canning jar. Refrigerate. Mix thoroughly before use. Goes very nicely with seafood, shrimp, fish, lobster and scallops. Also, great as spread in hearty bread. As a variation, use a chipotle chile or two instead of the cayenne.
Foresta’s Garlic Scapes Spread
Created by Foresta Castañeda
This is one of what Foresta calls those “kitchen flowers” — so simple and incredibly good.
10 or 12 scapes
2 Tbsps. olive oil
juice of one lime
pinch of cayenne
Blend in a food processor until smooth.
Great with bread or crackers. Delicious!