Garlic Basics

Appears in

Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

Get in There and Cook

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About
To quickly peel a clove of garlic, lay the flat side of a chef’s knife on top of the clove, press on the blade with your hand (keeping fingers and other tender parts away from the sharp edge), and smash the clove. Cut off the hard end and slip off the skin. Many people prefer to use a garlic press; however, this can add a metallic taste and it’s another tool to clean. Roasting garlic results in a wonderfully pungent, sweet puree that can be stirred into soups and stews, sauces, and salad dressings. To roast, separate the cloves of garlic from the head. Discard the loose papery skins, but do not peel. Place in a small, shallow baking dish, drizzle with a little olive oil, and toss to coat. Bake in a preheated 300°F. oven until the garlic is softened, about 45 minutes. Let cool. Cut off the hard end of each clove and squeeze the garlic pulp into a small bowl. Now you’re ready to use the roasted garlic puree wherever you would like a deep flavor accent. Keep refrigerated in a glass jar or other easily cleaned covered container—plastic will absorb the flavor of the garlic—and use within a few days.