When we make dinner, we put garlic in everything. That’s no accident! European, Mediterranean, and Asian cuisines all have used the alium bulb to season food for millennia. When a Blue Apron box arrives, it will almost always include a whole head of garlic, but most recipes only use a couple of cloves. If you’ve gotten a few boxes, you might have leftover garlic piling up. This isn’t a problem, it’s an opportunity. Here’s how to use extra garlic to create flavorful meals all week long.
The flavor of garlic changes drastically depending on how it is prepared. Raw garlic adds spiciness; gently cooked garlic becomes fragrant, and roasted garlic becomes sweet and melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Watch the video below to see how Chef Lili Dagan uses extra garlic to make spicy garlic bread, sweet garlic confit, garlicky roasted tomatoes, and chewy garlic chips.
How to use extra garlic
Make spicy garlic bread
Vampires beware: raw or lightly cooked garlic adds extraordinary flavor! Even a little bit will add a big bite to salad dressings or roasted vegetables. We’re not talking about chomping on uncooked whole cloves here. To make garlic spicy, not overwhelming, we start by mincing each clove, then keep chopping until the cloves resemble a paste. You can speed things up with a food processor, like chef Lili does while making spicy garlic bread.
Make sweet garlic confit
Slow heat turns garlic soft and sweet. Using low heat to make a garlic confit will create cloves so mild that you can eat them whole. To try this at home, you’ll need a lot of peeled garlic and olive oil. Try our hack for peeling multiple cloves at once: just separate the cloves, put them in a sealed container, and shake until they slip right out of their skins.
Make savory tomatoes with garlic
If separating all those cloves sounds like too much work, try this recipe for slow-roasted garlic and tomatoes. Just chop a whole head of garlic in half and send it into the oven. The garlic will infuse the tomatoes and oil with flavor. After it’s cooked, the cloves will pop right out of their skins.
How to remove garlic odors
After you’ve chopped it, the odor of garlic can linger on your fingers for the rest of the evening. Here’s a trick for removing the scent: just rub lemon or another citrus fruit on your hands. This works particularly well if your dish just so happens to have orange or lime in it, in which case prep the garlic first, then prepare the citrus and vanquish the garlicky odors once and for all.