Garlic

Garlic Cloves 

Garlic is indispensable in many cuisines. Before preparation, a whole clove has only a mild bouquet; it is only marginally stronger when sliced, but it has a very powerful flavour with a lingering aftertaste and aroma once chopped or crushed. The flavour is sharp, with a lot of punch for such a small ingredient.

A mature head of garlic contains anywhere from 6 to 24 individual cloves that release a notoriously strong aroma when crushed. There are two main types of garlic bulbs: softneck and hardneck (or rocambole). Softneck has a fibrous stem that dries into a grasslike top that can be braided. Pleasingly fragrant hardneck garlic has a long hard central stem surrounded by firm, easy-to-peel cloves with an intense flavour.

Purchase
Peeled cloves should be a clean creamy white without blemish. Make sure that the bulbs are closely packed and firm.
Storage
Store garlic in a cold dry place, away from strong light.
Preparation Tips

There are different schools of thought on how to crush garlic; here are three suggestions.

  1. Trim the root end from a garlic clove, place it in a mortar and give it one blow with a pestle to release the skin. Discard the skin, then crush the flesh with a tiny amount of salt to absorb the juices that might otherwise be lost. The salt also prevents the garlic from flying out of the mortar.

  2. Place the unpeeled garlic on a chopping board, cover with the flat blade of a knife and press hard. This releases the skin, which should be removed, then press again before finely chopping the flesh with a tiny amount of salt. Wash the chopping board and knife with hot soapy water to remove any odours.

  3. Garlic Press and Garlic 

    If you have a garlic press, leave the garlic clove unpeeled and cut off the root end. Place the clove cut end down in the press. Crush the garlic clove into a small bowl, or directly into the cooking pot. The garlic skin can be removed from the press in one neat piece, making the press easier to clean.

Culinary Use
Food Affinities
  • basil

  • broccoli

  • chicken

  • crab

  • mushrooms

  • potato

  • shrimp

  • spinach

  • steak

  • tomatoes

  • tomato sauces

Category: Spices and Herbs

Sub Category: Spice