A Cook's Plot

Side Dishes & Canapes

Glorious Garlic

I love having lots of homegrown garlic on hand in the kitchen but growing it seems to be a bit of a hit and miss process. I harvested five or six lovely fat bulbs at the allotment this year, but the rest were all a bit small and weedy - useable, but not great. It was the same story with the bulbs I planted in the garden at home too. So this year I’m going to try a new variety from DT Brown, called Czechmate (shown in the photo above). It’s a hardneck garlic from the Czech Republic that’s said to have good rust resistance. The large, plump cloves are apparently tinged with purple, and have a round, strong flavour. Here’s hoping they do better than any of the others I’ve tried so far. I’ll let you know next year!

And talking of garlic, garlic chives are my new favourite thing to pick at the moment. They have the most beautiful flowers (see below) that appear in late August and go on through September - much later than all the other alliums, which makes them an even more welcome sight when they appear. They taste exactly like a cross between garlic and chives, but the leaves are flatter and wider than chives. The simple dressing below is a lovely way to use them.

It’s great on hot boiled potatoes, on grilled meat and, of course, drizzled onto a salad


  • 1 head of garlic
  • Handful of garlic chives, finely chopped (or use normal chives and a small clove of garlic)
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Pinch of mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp walnut oil (or use olive oil but not extra virgin - it's too strong for this)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley


Drizzle the whole head of garlic with olive oil, season, wrap in foil and and roast at 200C (fan oven) for 35 minutes. Break the garlic into cloves, squeeze out the sweet, soft flesh and whisk together with the other ingredients, then season with sea salt and black pepper.

My Latest Recipes