Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Garlic Farm - Isle of Wight



Colin Boswell, above, is the owner of The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight. Colin is a true and passionate garlic hunter, traveling through Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Turkey in search of "The Mother of All Garlic." I met him at the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival and while there's much more to write about and learn from him, for now, let me just say that he gave me some of his prized Purple Moldovan Garlic (a special treat for me as my father's family emigrated from Moldova and the so called "unhappiest country on earth" is a major obsession of mine). Fingers crossed that I can smuggle it past my arch nemesis, the notorious beagle brigade at JFK.

The recipe below is from The Garlic Farm Cookbook, edited by his daughter Natasha. The self-published book is gorgeous and informative ... and this recipe is divine. Look for a perfect fall recipe in an upcoming post.

Aubergine, Courgette and Halloumi Stack
(or as we in America would say, Eggplant, Zucchini and Halloumi Stack)

1 large aubergine, thinly sliced lengthways
2 courgettes, slices lengthways
200 g (1 cup) halloumi cheese
5 garlic cloves
Good handful of fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, mint, thyme, oregano)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). In a roasting tray, start by paying a couple of aubergine strips to make the base of the stack. Drizzle olive oil, crush over one clove of garlic, spread, then sprinkle over herbs, salt and pepper. (Don't add too much salt as the halloumi is quite salty.) Make the next layer from a few courgette strips, again, drizzling over olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. The next layer is halloumi in thin strips. Continue to stack until you have used all the vegetables -- finish with a layer of halloumi drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and replace in the oven until the cheese has turned golden brown.

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