Santa Ynez Discovery: The Garlic Guy

On a trip to Santa Ynez Valley last weekend, we happened up the farm stand of the Garlic Guy. Poul Palmer has his stand in Los Olivos on Grand Avenue, the main strip with numerous wine tasting rooms. Poul said he has grown 100 varieties of garlic and we tasted a few. Yes, tasting garlic. I asked for a good garlic for making a marinara sauce and he said he was sold out of the first varieties he would ordinarily recommend. Then he peeled back a clove for me of the Rose de Lautrec and I sniffed it, then timidly touched my tongue to it. Woweee, that was good and strong. Sold. Then Mr. MVP came over and asked for a taste and he less timidly took a bite out of a Burgundy clove.
In addition to numerous varieties of garlic, he also sold salsa boxes. The box contained four heirloom tomatoes, two jalapeno peppers, two bulbs of garlic, and one onion. How perfect: simply chop up the ingredients and you’ve got yourself a pico de gallo. A traditional pico de gallo doesn’t call for garlic, but this was coming to us from the Garlic Guy, so we couldn’t resist. A dash of salt and fresh pepper, plus a squeeze of lime to finish it off, and it was all set. Yum.