Northeast Times

Garlic and Oil / Broccoli Rabe

Gar­lic can help lower your cho­les­ter­ol and num­ber of vam­pire at­tacks.

Little did I know what fate and des­tiny would con­spire to cook up for me when my car found its way to a strange, lone house on a bar­ren hill­top – the ad­dress my ed­it­or gave me to cov­er a Hal­loween mas­quer­ade food party.

“Get the scoop,” he told me.

As I walked up the long, dark, wind­ing path, a strange, eer­ie noise pen­et­rated the dead si­lence of the fog-en­shrouded, star­less night.

My in­stincts, as well as my in­tu­ition, told me to go back but my curi­os­ity forced me to con­tin­ue.  Had my GPS been cor­rect?  Yes, so ac­cur­ate it was scary. I had my cell phone in hand, fully charged. Step by step, I got closer and closer to the door. I de­cided to peek in­to the win­dow.

Just as I sus­pec­ted! There they sat – the de­mon­ic den­iz­ens of the dark side of ill health – cho­les­ter­ol, bac­teria, in­di­ges­tion, can­cer and in­flu­enza. Drac­ula was there, too. Was my ed­it­or crazy? Why didn’t I bring the gar­lic?  Where were my ruby slip­pers when I needed them?  I tried to turn and run, but fear held me in its grip. What was I to do?  Open my eyes, of course. Boy, can’t dreams scare you to death! Not really, thank good­ness.

Al­though this story is fab­ric­ated, be­sides ward­ing off vam­pires, there is evid­ence sug­gest­ing that gar­lic can help lower high cho­les­ter­ol levels, lower blood pres­sure, des­troy harm­ful bac­teria, and aid cir­cu­la­tion and di­ges­tion.  It may also be a can­cer fight­er. Gar­lic helps you ab­sorb your vit­am­in B-6 and has oth­er be­ne­fi­cial im­mune-boost­ing char­ac­ter­ist­ics.

Throughout his­tory, gar­lic was be­lieved to for­ti­fy and give strength.  The Egyp­tian slaves and ser­vants who built the pyr­am­ids were fed gar­lic and were even paid in gar­lic. (Al­though I do like gar­lic, I hope the NE Times doesn’t de­cide to ad­opt this prac­tice.) Well-pre­served gar­lic cloves were found in the tomb of King Tut.  (Who said you can’t take it with you?) What may have been the first labor strike oc­curred when a Pharaoh cut gar­lic ra­tions to save pyr­am­id costs. Ro­man sol­diers ate gar­lic be­fore battle for strength and bravery. 

With Hal­loween right around the corner, it may be wise to eat some gar­lic be­fore ven­tur­ing out among the creepies, crawlies and things that go bump in the night. Here are a few de­li­cious ways to fend off any vam­pires who may come your way.

AGLIO E OLIO (GAR­LIC AND OIL)

1 lb. spa­ghetti   

1 Tb­sp. salt

1 cup re­served pasta wa­ter (use later)

8 cloves gar­lic, chopped 

½ cup olive oil

1 tsp. crushed red pep­per flakes

½ cup fresh pars­ley (or ¼ cup dried), chopped

1 cup parmes­an cheese

Salt/Pep­per to taste

-Bring a large pot of wa­ter to a boil.  Add salt and spa­ghetti and cook un­til pasta is al dente (firm-tender not mushy).  

-Drain spa­ghetti (re­serve 1 cup pasta wa­ter) and keep spa­ghetti warm in large serving bowl.   

-While pasta is cook­ing, heat oil in pan over me­di­um heat, add gar­lic, saut&ea­cute; 3-4 minutes, stir­ring un­til gar­lic is soft and slightly golden. 

-Add the pep­per flakes and pars­ley.  Stir mix­ture, then add re­served pasta wa­ter.    

-Stir and bring to a boil.  Off heat and mix in the parmes­an.  Sea­son to   taste with salt, pep­per and ad­di­tion­al parmes­an.

-Pour over spa­ghetti and mix.

If plain, cooked spa­ghetti is hanging out in your re­fri­ger­at­or, dress it up with the fol­low­ing quick­ie ver­sion of the above.

One Minute (plus 10 seconds) Mi­crowave Aglio E Olio

2 cups cooked spa­ghetti

½ tsp. gar­lic salt

1 Tb­sp. pars­ley flakes

1 Tb­sp. olive oil

2—3 shakes red pep­per flakes

¼ cup parmes­an cheese   

-Ar­range spa­ghetti on din­ner plate.  Sprinkle with gar­lic salt, pars­ley, olive oil and flakes.

-Mi­crowave 1 minute.  

-Stir spa­ghetti, add parmes­an cheese and mi­crowave 10 seconds.

-Stir and serve with ad­di­tion­al parmes­an cheese.

These good, gar­lic greens go well as a side with this pasta.   

BROC­COLI RABE

1 bunch broc­coli rabe

1 clove gar­lic

2 Tb­sp. olive oil

1/3 cup wa­ter

¼ tsp. red pep­per flakes

-Wash rabe, trim ends and cut in­to 2-inch chunks and pieces (kit­chen scis­sors work well).   

-In large skil­let heat oil and add gar­lic fol­lowed by the rabe, wa­ter and pep­per flakes.

-Cook and turn rabe over for a few minutes un­til it be­gins to shrink down and re­duce it­self.  (What ap­pears to be a large amount will cook down, like spin­ach).

-Lower heat and cook about 5 minutes un­til done, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally.

Happy Hal­loween!

Eat well, live long, en­joy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats­cook­in­NEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the North­east Times, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053)

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