Modern research has confirmed what our ancestors believed about the health benefits of garlic. In 1858, Louis Pasteur documented that garlic kills bacteria, with one millimeter of raw garlic juice proving as effective as 60 milligrams of penicillin. Vitamins in garlic, such as A, B, and C stimulate the body to fight carcinogens and get rid of toxins, and garlic may even aid in preventing certain types of cancer. It's sulfur compounds can regulate blood sugar metabolism, detoxify the liver, and stimulate the blood circulation and the nervous system. Read more about garlic history and facts here.
I always keep garlic in my kitchen, usually full heads to be peeled as needed for use in soups, salads, sauces, and dressings. The other day, while shopping at the Sharon Farm Market, I purchased a container of pre-peeled garlic cloves from the produce counter. I used a few, storing the remainder in the refrigerator. When I realized I wasn’t going to use them all before they went bad, I decided to pickle them.
As with most recipes there are many variations for pickling garlic. This one is quick and easy with balsamic vinegar adding a touch of sweetness. The pickling juices can be used in homemade salad dressings when the garlic is gone. Small brown spots will sometimes appear on the pickled cloves, but this is because of the balsamic vinegar,they are still edible.
BETH'S PICKLED GARLIC
2 Cups White Vinegar
¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
¼ Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Bay Leaf
½ Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
½ Teaspoon Mixed Peppercorns
2-3 Small Dried Red Chiles
2-3 ½ Pint Sterilized Canning Jars and Lids
In a non-reactive saucepan, stainless steel is always a good choice, mix vinegars, sugar, salt, spices, and bay leaf over low heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved.
Add garlic cloves to the pan. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes.
Using slotted spoon, gently pack garlic cloves into sterilized jars.
Remove bay leaf from liquid, then pour vinegar into jars making sure to evenly distribute the remaining spices and completely cover the cloves: add more vinegar if necessary.
Carefully clean edges of jar and seal with vinegar-proof lids.
Store in a cool, dark place for one month before using.
Once opened keep stored in refrigerator. Good for 7 – 8 months.