For more than 7,000 years, garlic has been a staple in the Mediterranean region and a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa and Europe. It was known to ancient Egyptians and has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Garlic use today
Garlic is still widely used around the world as a seasoning or condiment. The plant’s bulb is the most commonly used part.
With the exception of single-clove types, garlic bulbs normally are divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. Garlic cloves are used for consumption (raw or cooked) or medicinal purposes and have a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and considerably sweetens with cooking. Immature flower stalks called scapes are tender and have a milder taste than cloves.
Aside from the spicy flavor, garlic contains several nutrients in rich amounts greater than 20 percent of average daily values (DV), including vitamins B6 and C, and dietary minerals like manganese and phosphorus.
Garlic also is a good source (10–19 percent DV) of certain B vitamins including thiamine (Vitamin B1) and pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), as well as certain dietary minerals including calcium, iron and zinc.
The only bad thing to be said about garlic is its close association with bad breath and body odor, which is described as a pungent “garlicky” smell to sweat.
Despite its drawbacks, garlic’s benefits far outweigh its odor-causing effect.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4, as a main course
- 2-3 cups garlic scapes, chopped into 2 inch pieces, including the scape tips*
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Salt and black pepper
*Ingredient note: If you are unable to find garlic scapes, substitute with green onions.
Boil pasta in large pot of salted water until firm. Drain, but reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat and add the minced garlic. Stir-fry garlic scapes for about 3-4 minutes until tender and no longer fibrous. Add butter and lemon juice and stir until melted.
Pass hot water through the pasta to loosen. Drain and add into the pan along with the lemon zest. Add some reserved pasta water if the mixture seems too dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and serve immediately.
Each serving has 317 calories, 19 g fat, 74 g carbohydrates, 17 g protein