One Instagram hack solves the problem of imperfect garden produce by giving us a way to use garlic that’s still struggling to grow.
Instagram user Jacques Lyakov (@jacquesinthegarden) posts tips and tricks for gardeners of all levels. One of their recipes uses up small, “rusted” garlic cloves to make a delicious, multipurpose sauce. Garlic rust is the result of a fungal disease that begins looking like small white or yellow flecks and later evolves into oval-shaped orange spots. The fungus doesn’t kill the garlic, but it does sap its resources — meaning that the plant is still edible, but its growth is stunted. Luckily, they’re perfect for Lyakov’s sauce.
The sauce is an easy combination of ingredients involving green onion, garlic chives, ginger, a chili paste or crunch of your choice, and garlic, along with oil, soy sauce, and black vinegar. Lyakov mentions that for this recipe, any garlic works, but it’s a great option when you have rusted garlic bulbs in the garden.
To begin, if the garlic is coming straight from your garden, be sure to remove the brown outer leaves and cut off the roots and greens — just leaving the bulb.
Lyakov then suggests chopping up “however much you desire” of green onion, garlic chives, ginger, and garlic, putting it all in an 8- to 12-ounce, heat-safe jar, and adding a teaspoon-sized scoop of chili paste on top.
Then, pour 3 tablespoons of neutral oil — such as vegetable oil or avocado oil — that’s between 300 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit into the jar. Lastly, add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and one tablespoon of black vinegar to get a smokey, garlic-flavored sauce.
“It’s great on ramen, it’s great with noodles, rice, [or] your favorite protein,” Lyakov says.
How it’s helping
Growing your own produce and herbs is a great way to save on grocery bills, and this hack ensures that your hard work won’t go to waste.
Even imperfect produce can be useful, and while you won’t be able to get as much out of a stunted plant, turning it into a sauce makes it go much further than if you chose to simply throw it away.
In fact, the habit of being resourceful with your garden won’t just help your wallet, it will also help to cut down on food waste — around 42 billion pounds of food is thrown away by homes in the U.S. each year. This food decomposes in landfills and adds to the rising levels of planet-warming gases.
What everyone’s saying
Instagram users raved about the recipe in the comments.
One wrote, “Made this and it was delicious! Great recipe!” while another added, “That honestly looks incredible.”
Other commenters were eager to give it a try and were inspired to adapt it to their needs as well.
“I need to do this with my immature shallots that bloated! Looks so good,” one user wrote.
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