Meet Melbourne’s Garlic Queen Georgie Dragwidge, the friendly face behind Georgie’s Harvest at South Melbourne Market. Georgie is the market’s resident garlic expert, sourcing a huge variety from the best local growers.
To mark this year’s garlic season, the market is hosting a special event on February 11 and 12 to celebrate how far local growers have come a long way since cheap, bleached, imported garlic hit the shelves in the mid 1990s.
Visit Georgie’s stall to meet local growers and discover different varieties, or taste delicious new dishes featuring garlic at market restaurants Claypots, Paco y Lola, Koy, Simply Spanish and Proper & Son. Then stock up on this summer’s best local garlic, and have a crack at Georgie’s top five ways to cook garlic.
This is a traditional Greek potato and garlic dip. Imagine whipped creamy potato, silky olive oil and finely ground garlic all blended into a smooth paste. Perfect as a dip, on toast or try it smeared over lamb chops, grilled chicken breast or a chargrilled steak.
2. Crushed garlic, olive oil + lemon
If I’m having cold prawns or grilled scallops, this is a must. I crush the garlic leave it at the bottom of a ramekin, pour in a good glug of olive and the juice of one lemon. Whisk with a fork and dip or drizzle away.
3. Roasted garlic
Place a whole head of garlic in amongst the meat and or veggies you are roasting. When the roast is cooked, I love opening the head and squeezing the cloves out onto my plate as a sauce on the side for dipping my roast lamb. This roasted garlic also goes with the pan juices to make awesome gravy.
4. Home made garlic butter
I love using home made garlic butter either for tossing through steamed veggies or for making garlic bread. Wait for your butter to get to room temperature. Take finely crushed garlic and a couple of pinches of your favourite dried herbs (I like thyme) and mash and mix through the butter. Reform into a block and store in the fridge.
5. Fried garlic and shallots
This mix is my must have when making stir fries, flavoured rice or even lentils. Finely slice garlic and shallots. Bring a small fry pan to a high heat and drop in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. As soon as smoke appears drop in the shallots and keep stirring as the shallots take on a dark brown colour. Then drop in the garlic and waits for the same colour change. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. I love to sprinkle this mix over stir fried veggies, savoury rice, or over the top of lentil soup.