Today I’m excited to share a delicious condiment idea with you. This simple recipe is not only a family favorite – handed down from my Italian grandparents – but it also includes one of the most powerful herbs on the planet.
An herb that has been used for thousands of years to enhance flavor, as well as treat a variety of ailments.
I’m talking about GARLIC!
We love garlic in my house. And not just because it tastes good and makes the house smell wonderful, but because it’s nature’s medicine.
I’ve shared the recipe for our homemade garlic & olive oil topping below, but first let’s dive into some of garlic’s superpowers!
Garlic is part of the Allium genus which includes onions, shallots, and leeks. Its major active component, the amino acid allicin, is enhanced when garlic is either crushed or chopped. It’s also what gives fresh garlic its pungent, mouth-watering aroma.
Allicin from garlic has proven to be antibacterial and antiviral, making it a natural remedy that wards off all types of germs. It increases the production of white blood cells – the very cells that fight off infections. This alone makes garlic perfect for keeping the immune system strong and healthy during the wintertime (or really any time of the year).
And on top of its immunity-boosting benefits, garlic has been shown to kill certain types of cancer cells, including lung and prostate. It’s also proven to be effective at preventing and treating heart disease — specifically helping people lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
It makes you wonder what this little bulb can’t do…
A Family Recipe
The best way to reap garlic’s medicinal and antioxidant benefits is by eating it raw (in small amounts). In its raw form, garlic offers many prebiotic properties, which help to feed the good bacteria in your digestive system — keeping your gut in optimal health.
However, not everyone is up for the pungent, spicy garlic challenge – so adding raw garlic to dips, dressings and toppings is a bit easier on your taste buds.
Which leads us to today’s recipe!
My favorite way to enjoy raw garlic and get all the benefits of its medicinal components is via my family’s famous garlic spread, which also includes olive oil (another healing powerhouse all on its own). When you mix these two and let the garlic marinate … well, the results are mouth-wateringly delicious.
In our house, we use the simple topping (below) on a bunch of different foods. We add a spoonful to the top of pasta dishes, soups, and salads (after they are on the plate). Or, once fully refrigerated, you can spread it cold across your favorite type of toasted bread… If you’re like us, you’ll be finding new ways to experiment with this one all the time.
Ok, without further ado…
Homemade Garlic & Olive Oil Spread
- 3 Bulbs of Garlic
- 1 Cup of Olive Oil
- 1 Glass Jar, with a lid (10 to 12 oz is ideal!)
- Break each garlic bulb into separate cloves and carefully peel off the skin.
- Place garlic into a small food processor, and pulse until fully minced. (You can also use a kitchen knife and mince by hand.)
- Transfer minced garlic into your empty jar (again, 10 to 12 oz works great).
- Pour olive oil over top of the garlic. We fill the olive oil all the way up to the top.
- Fasten the lid on top of the jar. Turn the jar over a few times to fully combine the olive oil and garlic.
*This recipe will keep for 1 to 2 weeks, if you make sure to refrigerate after each use!
Host of Healing Kitchen: Let Food Be Thy Medicine
& Founder of The Sacred Science