Though it's been lauded for uses as varied as scaring away vampires and curing toothaches, we love garlic for the pungent flavor it imparts and for the mouthwatering aroma it produces as soon as it hits hot oil in a pan. Garlic comes in various colors and sizes, from the large cloves of elephant garlic (with a mild flavor despite its size) to slightly smaller white and purple garlic, which compensate for their diminutive stature with big, bold flavor. Garlic is delicious when peeled, minced, and incorporated in pasta sauces and stir-fries. For a luscious and garlicky appetizer, we like to spread a whole head of garlic, halved, lightly oiled, and roasted in its peels, over toasted bread.
Featured Garlic Recipes
- Be careful not to cook garlic beyond a golden brown to keep it from turning bitter.
- The more finely you mince garlic, the more assertive its flavor gets; leave in larger pieces or roast it for a mellower taste.
- When selecting garlic, avoid cloves that are bruised, dried, or sprouting.
Where to Buy
Look for garlic year-round in the produce section of any supermarket or in season at your local farmers' market. Visit Melissa's Produce for more exotic garlic varieties, such as Rocambole (a strongly flavored garlic with a purple hue).