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How to Use Fresh Garlic--Recipes and Tips
Fresh Garlic Facts and History
Garlic is the essential ingredient in many distinctive recipes. It has a delicious taste and helps blend the flavors of many other ingredients. I have included some of the best garlic recipes in this article.
Garlic is also known for its health benefits and medicinal properties. It has long been considered a herbal "wonder drug", with a reputation in folklore for preventing everything from the common cold and flu to the Plague.
Garlic, Garlic, Garlic - Written in Cleveland (my home town)
Review~Inspired by the success of their James Beard Award-winning work, Onions, Onions, Onions, authors Fred and Linda Griffith now take on another stinky favorite: garlic. Shunned for centuries even in France and Italy because of its strong flavor and odor, garlic was considered a low-class seasoning, only winning wide acceptance in cooking outside working-class kitchens after World War II. Garlic, Garlic, Garlic provides detailed guidance for buying, storing, and preparing garlic, and explains the pros and cons of using a garlic press. There are also 200-plus recipes, many for ethnic dishes rich in garlic. There is Brandade, the creamy French dish made with salt cod, and Spanish Sopa de Ajo, a pungent peasant soup of garlic, bread, and oil with poached eggs. Even cozy macaroni and cheese is punctuated with three pressed, plump cloves of garlic. Dessert is not forgotten- -how about ice cream topped with golden, caramelized Honey-Poached Garlic Sauce for something really different? While only experienced cooks may want to attempt dishes like Veal Brisket Roasted with Garlic, Onions, and Plums, any garlic lover with modest skills can whip up the Special Marinara Sauce or grill the Flank Steak with Balsamic Vinegar Marinade.
The authors delve deep into garlic trivia, exposing quirky garlic lore and beliefs--including the revelation that six heads of this odoriferous cousin to the lily were discovered in King Tut's tomb. And for real garlic junkies, the dates and locations of every garlic festival in the U.S. and Canada are all here. --Dana Jacobi
Garlic History - What Family Does Garlic Belong To?
The word garlic comes from Old English garleac, meaning "spear leek." Dating back over 6,000 years, it is native to Central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Egyptians worshipped garlic and placed clay models of garlic bulbs in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Garlic was so highly-prized, it was even used as currency. Folklore holds that garlic repelled vampires, protected against the Evil Eye, and warded off jealous nymphs said to terrorize pregnant women and engaged maidens. And let us not forget to mention the alleged aphrodisiacal powers of garlic which have been extolled through the ages.
Surprisingly, garlic was frowned upon by foodie snobs in the United States until the first quarter of the twentieth century, being found almost exclusively in ethnic dishes in working-class neighborhoods. But, by 1940, America had embraced garlic, finally recognizing its value as not only a minor seasoning, but as a major ingredient in recipes.
Quaint diner slang of the 1920s referred to garlic as Bronx vanilla, halitosis, and Italian perfume. Today, Americans alone consume more than 250 million pounds of garlic annually.
Garlic Facts and Myths
Do You Know Which is Which?
Did you know that one clove of garlic is ten times stronger pushed through a garlic press than one clove minced fine with a sharp knife?
Did you know that the Roman historian, Pliny, lists no less than sixty-one medicinal uses for garlic?
A few are:
Vampires flee from it.
Will cure a cold.
Will cure warts.
Will stop fainting spells.
Wards off the evil eye.
Will grow hair.
A restorative for failing masculine powers.
Alleviates high blood pressure.
How to Make Roasted Garlic
A Wonderful Appetizer
Roasted garlic is a delicious appetizer. Squeeze the pulp out of the cloves and spread on the bread of your liking or serve with bruschetta and/or tapenade. Roasted garlic is also excellent used in your baking. It is milder than raw garlic. In fact, raw garlic is two to four times stronger in flavor. Garlic becomes very mellow and easy to spread after cooking.
3 whole garlic heads (bulbs)
2 to 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
NOTE: You can multiply the recipe to make as much roasted garlic as you need. Each head will yield about one heaping tablespoon of garlic puree.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Peel away the outer layers of skin of the garlic bulb, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact; leave garlic bulb whole. Using a sharp knife, slice 1/2-inch off of the pointed end of the garlic bulbs, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
- Put the garlic head in a small ovenproof dish, garlic roaster, or pan.
- Pour 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over the top of each bulb and let it sink in between the cloves.
- Wait 2 minutes and then repeat with another 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over each garlic bulb.
- Either cook in a garlic cooker or place on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil (this is great for cooking large amounts of garlic).
- Cover and bake approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until cloves are browned at the exposed end and soft throughout. Remove from oven.
- Allow the roasted garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself. Use a small small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove. Use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.
- Garlic may be stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for several days. To puree, crush garlic cloves with the flat of a knife.
- A great way to serve roasted garlic cloves is as an accompaniment to bread. To serve, spread baguette bread with cream cheese, squeeze clove onto the bread, and spread.
Garlic Cooking Tips and Hints
How to Cook with Garlic
- Believe it or not, one raw garlic clove, finely minced or pressed releases more flavor than a dozen cooked whole cloves.
- When garlic cloves are cooked or baked whole, the flavor mellows into a sweet, almost nutty flavor that hardly resembles any form of pungency. This nutty flavor makes a surprisingly nice addition to desserts, such as brownies or even ice cream.
- Cooked, whole, unpierced cloves barely have any aroma at all, while raw garlic is the strongest in flavor.
- When sauteing garlic, be very careful not to burn it. The flavor turns intensely bitter, and you'll have to start over.
- If you have a good garlic press, you don't even need to peel garlic cloves before pressing, which can be a wonderful time-saver. Just place the unpeeled clove in the tool cavity, press and discard the skins left in the cavity.
- An easy rule of thumb to remember regarding the potency of the flavor of garlic is: The smaller you cut it, the stronger the flavor. Chopping finely and/or pressing a clove exposes more surfaces to the air, causing a chemical reaction to produce that strong aroma and potent flavor.
How to Choose Garlic for Your Recipes
How to choose the best garlic
Garlic Selection and Storage
- Choose garlic heads that are firm to the touch, with no nicks or soft cloves. If you notice dark, powdery patches under the skin, pass it up because this is an indication of a common mold which will eventually spoil the flesh.
- Store unpeeled heads of garlic in an open container in a cool, dry place away from other foods. Do not refrigerate or freeze unpeeled garlic. Properly stored garlic can keep up to three months.
- As garlic ages, it will begin to produce green sprouts in the center of each clove. These infant green sprouts can be bitter, so discard them before chopping the garlic for your recipe.
- However, if you plant the cloves and let them sprout to a height of about six inches, you can use the sprouts like chives in salads and such.
- Garlic can also be purchased as peeled whole cloves or minced, both stored in olive or vegetable oil. It is imperative that garlic in oil be stored under refrigeration to avoid potentially-deadly botulism bacteria growth. If you use a lot of garlic and wish to cut your preparation time down, you can pre-peel and store your own in olive oil in the refrigerator, but the best flavor will come from freshly-peeled cloves. Use garlic powder, garlic salt, and garlic extract (juice) only as a last resort.
How to Peel Garlic
To peel a garlic clove, place it on a cutting board on its side, and gently press down quickly with the flat side of a butcher knife. The skin should then easily peel off. If you find the skin clinging desperately to the clove, congratulations! You have fresh garlic. As garlic ages, it shrivels inside the skin, making it easier to peel.
How to Measure Your Garlic
1 head or bulb of garlic = (about) 10 to 15 cloves.
1 small garlic clove = 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic = 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder = 1/4 teaspoon garlic juice = 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 medium garlic clove = 1 teaspoon minced garlic = 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large garlic clove = 2 teaspoons minced garlic = 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 extra-large garlic clove = 1 tablespoon minced garlic
Garlic Health Benefits
Garlic has long been considered a medicinal food. It was used to protect against plague by monks in the Middle Ages. Hippocrates used garlic vapors to treat cervical cancer. Garlic poultices were placed on wounds during World War II as an inexpensive, and apparently quite effective replacement for antibiotics which were scarce during wartime.
Now science is beginning to prove the medicinal properties of garlic that our ancestors took for granted. Studies have shown garlic can suppress the growth of tumors, and is a potent antioxidant good for cardiovascular health.
Other studies show garlic can reduce LDLs or "bad" cholesterol and is a good blood-thinning agent to avoid blood clots which could potentially lead to heart attack or stroke.
All of this natural medicine comes at a cost of only 4 calories per clove.
Roasted Garlic Hummus
Add a little Pita Bread and Yum!
Makes 3 cups/Vegan/Gluten-Free
This creamy, zesty dip has more than 40 cloves of garlic in it. Yet, roasting the garlic softens the cloves to a creamy, slightly sweet pulp that doesn't overwhelm other flavors or give off that typical garlicky aroma.
4-5 heads garlic
1 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
1 28 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 Tbs. tahini
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut tops from garlic heads to reveal tips of garlic cloves. Place garlic heads on large sheet of foil, and drizzle with 1 Tbs. oil. Wrap garlic heads tightly in foil, and bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until garlic heads feel soft through foil. Cool in foil.
Puree chickpeas 1 minute in food processor, or until finely chopped. Add lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, tahini, and 1/2 cup water. Blend chickpea mixture 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth.
Squeeze roasted garlic pulp from each clove into chickpea mixture in bowl of food processor. Pulse hummus several times to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Spread in think layer on large plate, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with whole wheat pita wedges.
Roasted Garlic Soup with Thyme Croutons
4 heads garlic
3 cups milk
1 cup cream
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coat the garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a
350-degree oven till cloves are golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Once the garlic is roasted, cut the head in half, from side to
side, exposing all the cloves. Squeeze both halves into a bowl,
discarding any skin. Pick out any fiber from the skin. Bring the
roasted garlic, milk, cream and thyme to a simmer. Allow simmering
for 10 minutes. Puree in a blender, then strain through a very
fine mesh sieve. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Thyme
Croutons, and a light drizzle of Extra-virgin olive oil.
1 small loaf French bread
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the crust from the bread
with a knife. Cut the loaf into very small cubes. Toss the cubes
with a small amount of olive oil, fresh chopped thyme, salt and
pepper. Place the cubes on a tray and bake until golden brown,
stirring occasionally. Serve while warm.
Garlic Mushroom Ragout Recipe
Mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and lemon juice are sealed in foil packets and cooked on the grill.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
6 shallots or white part of scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tablespoons minced parsley
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 Tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
Prepare a medium fire.
In a large bowl, mix mushrooms with shallots, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Place mixture on a double thickness of 18-inch square heavy duty aluminum foil and dot with butter. Wrap foil packet securely, crimping edges to seal.
Place packet on a grill set 4 to 6 inches from coals. Cook, turning 2 or 3 times, until mushrooms are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to unwrap this package at the table so everyone can enjoy the heavenly aromas.
Yield: 6 servings
"Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good!" - Alice May Brock
Garlic Basil Mayonnaise
This pretty green mayonnaise is packed with the flavor of garlic and basil. If the raw egg concerns you, use irradiated eggs which are available in most markets. Use as a condiment with meats, grilled chicken, vegetables, sandwiches, and salads.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 to 7 garlic cloves to taste
1/2 cup spicy globe or lemon basil, tightly packed
1/4 tsp dry mustard or 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice or cider vinegar
Dash of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup olive oil
Place vegetable oil, egg, garlic, basil, mustard, lemon juice or vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Puree for 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides.
With the motor running, drizzle olive oil down the chute in a slow but steady stream. Stop as soon as the olive oil has been incorporated and mixture is thick and emulsified. Do not over-process or it will separate. Add 1 teaspoon of very hot water, pulsing several times to blend in. (This will help stabilize the mayonnaise.)
Refrigerate leftovers and use within 7 days.
Yield: about 1 cup
Garlic Herb-Crusted Prime Rib Roast Recipe
As you can see from the photo, this method produces a tender, succulent prime rib roast while the garlic and herb crust adds incredible flavor. Prime rib should never be cooked more than medium-rare. Doing so toughens the meat. If some of your guests like it a bit more done, use a restaurant trick and simply pour the piping hot pan juices over the sliced meat, which will cook it more.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours,
1 three-rib prime-rib roast, small end with ribs attached, at room temperature (see Notes)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 cloves garlic, cut in 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoons fresh grated horseradish (see Notes)
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup dry red wine
1-1/2 cups beef broth
Position oven rack on the lowest level in the oven. Preheat oven to 450 F.
Carefully remove prime rib roast from the bones so that the bones are remain attached to each other (or have your butcher do it for you). Place the bones in the bottom of a large heavy roaster pan. The ribs will serve as the rack for the roast. Sprinkle both ribs and roast generously with the salt and pepper.
Place garlic, onion, horseradish, oregano, flour, and mayonnaise in a food processor and pulse until a smooth paste forms. Press garlic paste on all sides of the roast and place fat-side up on the rib rack in the pan.
Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 F. Bake an additional 1-1/2 hours or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast indicates a temperature of 110 F. for medium-rare. (Roast will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven.) Check at 10 minute intervals until it reaches desired temperature.
Move prime rib roast and ribs to a platter and keep warm. Let rest at least 15 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, pour drippings from the pan into a gravy separator or glass measuring cup. Siphon off grease and reserve juices.
Place the roasting pan over medium-high heat and add red wine. Deglaze the pan by stirring to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil until juices are reduced by half, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add beef broth, reserved beef juices, and any juice that has collected in the platter. Cook, stirring often, until reduced again by half.
Slice prime rib roast and separate ribs. Serve with the reduced pan sauce and Creamed Horseradish Dill Sauce.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Notes: For this cooking method to work, it is essential that the prime rib roast be at room temperature before placing in the oven. Use a microplane to grate the horseradish. It's finer, faster, and easier than a box grater. The food processor doesn't chop it finely enough.
Garlic, White Cheddar and Chipotle Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Roasted garlic has a mellow flavor and chipotle chiles give a spicy, yet mildly sweet kick to these mashed potatoes with Cheddar cheese. Do not fear the large amount of garlic. Roasted garlic is not pungent at all. It becomes mellow and nutty in flavor when roasted.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
36 garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups (about 8 ounces) packed grated sharp white Cheddar cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chilies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss garlic with olive oil in baking pan. Cover with foil; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until garlic is tender, about 15 minutes. Cool; peel and chop.
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain.
Transfer potatoes to large bowl. Add garlic, Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, butter, and chiles. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature. Rewarm, stirring constantly, before serving.)
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Comments: Thirty-six garlic cloves may sound like a lot, but they are cooked until mellow in flavor.
Which is Your Favorite Recipe in this Lens? - There are so many great recipes to choose from
Which Recipe is Your Favorite?
"A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat." - Old New York Yiddish Saying
Garlic Festivals Cropping Up Celebrating the Uses of Garlic
One of the most recent developments in the world of garlic are the Garlic Festivals starting in various parts of the United States. Last year, Cleveland had their First Annual Garlic Festival at Shaker Square on the eastern edge of the city.
The festival featured garlic in all its forms, raw, roasted, samplings of garlic laced food dishes from local restaurants, garlic popcorn, garlic fries, and garlic ice cream.
© 2008 Paula Atwell