At Harvest | 24 February, 2024

Black Garlic and the Sustainable Living Festival – keepin’ it simple. Sort of.

We love it when a stallholder slings us a new product and says, cook with this. This week, Robyn at A Pinch of Tasmania tossed us some black garlic and said precisely that. Right now, you can even jump on the waitlist to get some if you like what you read here. Those of you paying attention to our Instagram would have noticed a promise of a recipe from us. We’d never lie to the internet, so indulge us, and yourselves in some black garlic chat.

Plus, once in a blue moon, the stars align, and the black garlic arrives at precisely the moment you’re making canapés for 70 that weekend, so, first stop canapés.

The Garlic Bit

Two we ripped out: black garlic and whipped ricotta summer veg tarts, and, St. Johann with black garlic butter, quince, sour apple, and rosemary. Most everything you need for these two you can find at Harvest.

(One of) the great thing(s) about this product is that it automatically lends itself to whipping and emulsification. The process softens the cloves to a paste, like a confit. But, it has shape retention, and an added layer of complexity from the fermentation process. It is a little sweeter than a confit but once corrected for, that complexity truly adds a layer to the flavour profile of whatever it is you’re cooking.

Example? Glad you asked. A simple black garlic emulsified dressing. Strip and puree the garlic in a bowl with a fork, add a tablespoon of mustard, a pinch of salt and white pepper, an egg yolk (optional), 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Mix this thoroughly with a whisk. Emulsify in half a cup of high-grade olive oil. Check the acidity and seasoning, correct if necessary. Done. A real wow of a condiment.

You can take this further, and use it for texture and body in a full blown sauce. Such as our final iteration, something we dubbed: “black garlic fake-XO-sauce type thing”.

It needs a punchier title. Do note that the resident chef tested this at home, and he’s not a careful note-taker. Thus, amounts are approximate at best. Use your judgement and taste taste taste.

1 head of black garlic, smooshed. 20 grams dried shrimp, rehydrated and finely chopped. 20 grams of dried shallots. 2 tablespoons each of soy, mirin, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. 1 teaspoon each of brown sugar, Korean chilli powder and water. Add everything to a bowl and combine thoroughly, set aside for an hour.

We drizzled this over some stir-fried beef and choi sum. C’est incroyable.

The Sustainable Living Festival bit

The Sustainable Living Festival is set to return to Launceston at the Inveresk Precinct in March 2024, with a central theme of “Going Circular”. The Festival will be headlined by Craig Reucassel, the renowned television personality and environmental advocate from the ABC’s War on Waste. This is huge for Launceston, for the festival and for sustainability in general, with the event being one of only a handful of its kind nationally.

The annual festival is nearly upon us again. Each year, this brilliant and informative event, an initiative of Tamar NRM’s Sustainable Community Working Group, brings the sustainability conversation to the fore. The group is made up of members from Tamar NRM, Transition Tamar, Plastic Free Launceston, City of Launceston, West Tamar Council, George Town Council and the Launceston Chamber of Commerce. This represents a powerful alliance of interest groups that are committed to action.

March 2nd, 10 to 4, in the Inveresk precinct. See you there.

And, speaking of great things you can do to support sustainability on your community, see you at Harvest tomorrow,

Join us on Saturday!

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