Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Local Buzz: Onion and Garlic Maturing
If onion and garlic foliage has not yet slumped and dried, stop irrigating and bend the stalks to the ground. Allow a month or so for them to dry prior to harvest. Avoid bruising the bulbs during harvest, and let them cure in a single layer on slats or screens in a dry, well-ventilated place.
They're ready to store when the foliage and outer layers are dry and papery. Store the bulbs in a cool, dry place where air can circulate. Any with soft, thick necks, or bulbs that are not thoroughly dried should be used first, as they will spoil in storage. Check the stored batch once a week and toss or use immediately any that begin to spoil.
Recipes: First-of-the-Season, Fresh Tomato, Cucumber, Herb Salad
2 cups tomatoes, cut into 1-inch bitesize chunks (if cherry or smaller, cut in half at "equator" between stem and blossom ends)
1 cup cucumbers, cut into 1/2-inch bitesize chunks
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup basil, roughly chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried leaves, crushed as you add)
1 tablespoon oregano or marjoram, roughly chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried leaves, crushed as you add)
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon Lawry's salt
3 tablespoons canola or light olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic or wine or rice wine vinegar; or 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Mash garlic and Lawry's salt. Add oil and vinegar (or lemon juice). Whisk to emulsify.
Add vegetables and herbs. Toss to cover. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to 1/2 hour before serving, to meld flavors.