Rotten Garlic Anyone?

I’ve been in Oz for 6 months now and I still get excited when it’s time to go food shopping. The aisles filled with different brands than I’m used to; the fresh seafood available in store and even just the way the veggies are laid out keeps me so interested. Whenever I go on holiday I’ll spend a lot of time in a supermarket just taking in this normal yet different shopping experience.

I headed to Coles in the Westfield in Eastgardens and began my shop. I got my usual; tuna for $0.80 in an array of flavours including; smoked, honey mustard, lime, Thai sweet chilli and lemon with cracked pepper  (literally what keeps us backpackers going); pasta for $1, spinach and coffee both for $3. As you can see, I don’t spend much on my food shop (because I’m consistently poor) however I do like to treat myself every once and a while…. 

This weeks treat is: black fermented garlic! 

Hi I’m Lucy and when I say weird, I really do mean weird! 

So this weird looking vegetable set me back a whole $5! I can apparently use it as a topping to pastas, pizzas or salads and it can also be purΓ©ed and then used as a drizzle. More to come from this strange ingredient…

Before I headed home, I may have accidentally wandered into a place called Seafood @ Eastgardens. It just so happens to be the place that stocks my work with fresh fish from the Sydney fish market every morning. As I was poor I could only window shop, which was absolute torture for me. I mean look at what I couldn’t buy:

I would have bought 3 kinds of crab, scallops and some prawns if I had my way. But no, I had to leave empty handed. 

So I got back to my flat and decided to cook dinner with this black garlic I bought. I wanted to keep the flavours simple to showcase the unusual ingredient so I went for a pasta dish. 

Here’s my recipe:

  • 100g pasta (any shape)
  • 20g kalamata olives (diced)
  • 100g spinach 
  • 1 table spoon of olive oil 
  • 3 black garlic cloves (diced)

Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and set aside. SautΓ©e the spinach in a pan until wilted, add the olives and garlic. Heat through the ingredients and add to the pasta. Mix together and serve. 

Here is the finished product:

My thoughts: the meal was clean with bold flavours – I would have enhanced it with some truffle oil and pecorino cheese though. The black garlic tasted very different, it was almost like taking a bite of red wine. It had a very strong fruity flavour which overpowered the simple dish. So I feel I should pair this ingredient with a red meat next time.

I love tasting new things and working out how to piece a meal together.

Watch this space!


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