Whether it’s oozing out of the pores of the person next to you or escaping through the mouth of your date, the smell of garlic is undeniable. Perhaps this is why it’s thought to ward off vampires, mosquitos, or other unwanted pests. However, this member of the lily family (akin to leeks, chives, onions, and shallots) adds a delicious level of flavor to foods and gives a punch to an otherwise flat-tasting meal.
It is impossible not to notice the versatility and power of garlic — it can be found in everything from a chicken cooked with 40 cloves to toast smeared with roasted garlic to quick a chimichurri or pesto sauce. When garlic is crushed, sliced, grated, or puréed, its flavor becomes more pronounced, whereas whole roasted heads of garlic or whole cloves will be milder.
Need some quick tips for working with garlic? If the lingering smell on your hands after chopping garlic is irritating, use a Microplane to grate the cloves directly into hot oil or the food processor. Just remember that when cooking minced or chopped garlic, it’s important to keep a close eye on it because it can burn or brown quickly; if overly browned, it will become bitter and add an unpleasant flavor to dishes. When purchasing garlic, look for hard cloves that are intact and stored in open air (not refrigerated). At home, keep garlic away from other foods, as they will easily pick up the garlicky smell.
In addition to being undeniably delicious, garlic has powerful essential oils that permeate lung tissue and remain for a prolonged period of time, leading to the commonly used phrase "garlic breath." There is no set cure for this unfortunate effect, but there are some natural ways to get back to sweet-smelling breath, like chewing on fresh mint or raw vegetables. (They say if everyone at the table consumes garlic, no one will detect it on each other’s breath — so feel free to serve it up at dinner parties.)
Garlic is a quick and cheap flavor enhancer, and a wonderful ingredient to cook with. Experiment with some of the recipes below, be it cheesy garlic bread, crunchy garlic chicken breasts, or tilapia served with garlicky oil, and embrace the garlicky-ness of garlic.
Consider this your easy, weeknight meal-for-two for those of you not concerned about "garlic breath."
— Maryse Chevriere
This is a simple dish that can be thrown together quickly...
— Valaer Murray
If it's garlicky flavor you're looking for, then this is the pasta dish you...
— Will Budiaman
Hummus is easily picked up at the grocery store in a tub, but it is just as easily made at home...
— Jane Bruce
Ah, the wonders of pressure cooking — in a mere 20 minutes from start to finish...
— Molly Aronica
This garlicky, addictive dish is best served with crusty bread or a bowl of pastsa...
— Yasmin Fahr
Homemade pizza is a great way to experiment with new flavors and tastes...
— Carly Goldsmith
As I walked into the kitchen once as a kid, following the scent of sizzling sounds of garlic...
— Terri Ciccone
This fresh, easy pasta is amazing in the summer, with the classic combination of...
— Jessica Chou