Garlic Fortes and Oyster Mushrooms

There are two more unique treats in the CSA share this week.  Oyster Mushrooms and Hard Neck Garlic heads, called “Forte” for their flavor.

La Madera Farms Garlic Fortes

Three types of hard neck garlic for this week’s CSA share

Bill and Claudia Page of La Madera Farms have grown wonderful hard neck garlic heads.  Bill has been working on more than twenty hard neck and soft neck varieties over the past 10 years, and the hard necks are the varieties that they have selected.  The hard neck heads are larger in size than soft necks, with five to nine plump cloves.  Bill’s garlic heads have adapted to the local conditions and have increased in size each year.  In 2009, Bill entered the Rio Arriba County Fair and won a blue ribbon.

Hard Neck Garlic for March 11

The garlic head have a rich and “fiery” taste.  The three types have a similar flavor.

–       German Brown

–       Red Rezans

–       Romanian Reds

Cooking Tips from La Madera Farms

–       These cloves are easy to peel.  You can peel them with your fingers or roll in a garlic tube.

–       To taste the flavor of the garlic, cook at the last-minute in hot dishes.  This may require using less garlic than the recipe, but it will show the flavor of the garlic within the food.

–       Salad dressings should have the garlic added right before the salad is eaten

Oyster Mushrooms from Desert Fungi in Velarde NM

Oyster Mushrooms get their name from their shape and grayish blue hue. They are one of the few wild mushrooms that can be easily cultivated, like those from Desert Fungi in this week’s CSA share. Full of vitamins and proteins when cooked, oyster mushrooms can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in most ways. You do not need to wash or peel your mushrooms. Simply add them whole or sliced to your stir-fry or bake in a quiche.

Expect to see more mushrooms from Desert Fungi monthly throughout the spring.

Send us your tips and recipes for cooking with these exciting ingredients.

Amy Hetager, CSA Blogger


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