The Many Faces of Garlic

The Many Faces of Garlic
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Garlic is one of my favorite seasonings. I use fresh garlic most of the time, but I always have garlic powder on hand to add to bread stick and pizza dough. I know many people are afraid of the smell and the strong taste, but there are so many variations to using garlic that can make it work for everyone. The longer garlic is cooked, the more mellow it becomes. James Beard's famous Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic proves this point well.
Store garlic in mesh onion bags, or in a cool place that is out of the sunlight. Never store whole garlic heads in the refrigerator or freezer. If you have leftover chopped or minced garlic, cover it with oil, refrigerate and use within a day or two.

Garlic is especially mellow in taste when roasted for long periods of time. To rid your breath of garlic chew fresh parsley, a slice of raw ginger or fresh mint.

The following recipes are easy and will get you started in experimenting with garlic.

Roasted Garlic


1 garlic head
1/2 cup olive oil
3 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees and break the head into cloves, but leave the skins on. Place them in a small ovenproof dish, and add the oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Bake about 45 minutes until the garlic is very tender-this may take an hour if the cloves are large. Stir the cloves occasionally to turn them. When done allow to cool enough to handle then squeeze onto toasted French bread or other crusty bread. You can also use in recipes such as dressings, sauces, soups etc.

NOTES: You can also roast garlic by drizzling with olive oil, seasoning with salt and wrapping with foil. Do this when you are baking something else in the oven and you'll have it on hand for spur of the moment recipes. It will keep 2-3 days wrapped well in the refrigerator. If the oven is hotter than about-350 degree or so-only roast it 20 minutes or so.

Anchovy Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
8 cloves garlic, chopped
Two 2 ounce cans flat anchovies, undrained
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil and butter in a skillet and add garlic. Add anchovies to the oil and cook until they have broken down and the garlic is VERY lightly browned. Be careful not to scorch-the garlic will turn bitter. Pour the sauce over hot pasta and toss well. Add parsley and toss again.

Garlic Chicken


4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/8 cup vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
Sprigs of fresh thyme, oregano and chives, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Add chicken to all ingredients that have been mixed in a sealable plastic bag. Marinate overnight. Grill until chicken is done inside.

Garlicky Beans with Dill


1 pound fresh beans
1 1/2 Tbs. butter
6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional

Trim, string and rinse beans. Cut into 1 inch. lengths, and steam until tender, 10 or 15 min. Drain. Melt butter in a skillet, add garlic, and cook over a very low heat about 5 minutes until soft. Mash or remove garlic, which ever you prefer. Add the dill and stir. Add your beans and pepper flakes, cover and cook over low heat about 5 minutes. Salt to taste and serve.

Chickpea Soup


4 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary or 1 tsp. fresh
5 ounce can plum tomatoes
1 pound can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and crush the garlic. If using fresh rosemary, chop it finely. Heat the oil and sauté the garlic until it begins to brown. Add the rosemary and the tomatoes, roughly chopped and lower the heat to a simmer when the ingredients come to a boil. Cook for 25 minutes or so. When the tomatoes are cooked, add the chickpeas and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4-5.

Green Beans With Lemon and Garlic


1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Freshly ground black pepper

Blanch green beans in a pot of boiling water 2 minutes and drain. Add oil to a skillet and heat. Saute garlic for 2 minutes. Add beans, lemon juice, paprika and cumin to pan with garlic. Add pepper. Heat through and serve.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes


1 whole head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 potatoes, peeled, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon butter
1/2-3/4 cup hot milk
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tops off of garlic, toss with olive oil, then put heads, tip side up, in a baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until garlic is soft and tender. Cool and squeeze out pulp. Mash well with fork. Boil potatoes until tender. Drain well, and mix in butter. Beat in hot milk gradually until smooth, but do not over beat.. Stir in roasted garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chives. Serves 4.

Roasted Garlic and Asparagus


2 bunches asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1 red pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small Vidalia onion, sliced
1 tablespoon oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine first four ingredients in a roasting pan; toss with oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Bagna Cauda


4 garlic cloves
6 anchovies
1 cup olive oil

Process the ingredients in a blender. Pour into a fondue pot or a serving dish that can be kept warm at the table. Serve with pieces of blanched asparagus, whole green beans, green pepper and chunks of crusty bread. Until you taste this, you can't imagine how good it is! A wonderful appetizer. Serves 4.


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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