5 recipes for people who can't get enough garlic

I avoid scampi and shawarma like a vampire, lest an acrid whiff of lightly cooked garlic seep from my mouth or pores. But roasted garlic is a root of an entirely different flavor. Low and slow cooking tames this tenacious tuber, mellowing its sharp taste into a rich, round flavor. These recipes will leave you reaching for more, rather than for mouthwash.

First, some math. Garlic cloves yield approximately ¼ to ½ teaspoon minced garlic each. There are about 10 to 12 cloves in a bulb, or head of garlic. That means the famous French dish, chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, could have been called “chicken with four heads.” But that wouldn’t have been as appetizing.

If you’ve never roasted a head of garlic before, start now. Use a sharp knife to slice off the very top of the bulb, then brush the cut side with a bit of olive oil, pushing the oil in between the cloves. Wrap the head in aluminum foil and roast for an hour. The dreamy, creamy garlic that emerges is simply perfect when smeared on a slice of crusty bread; add butter, lemon juice and/or herbs to push the taste over the top. 

If you make it a habit to throw a head of garlic in the oven every time you roast something (anything) else, you’ll always have a secret ingredient ready to enhance your salad dressings, condiments, dips, meats and more.

brisket with 40 cloves of garlic // photo by carmen troesser

Not in the mood to turn on the oven? Garlic alchemy happens on the stovetop in the herbed garlic soup recipe. Just simmer the cloves from two heads of garlic for a half-hour, until they are super soft. Puree the garlic, then let the soup rest in the refrigerator overnight to deepen its delicate, grassy flavors. In spite of the heavy helping of garlic, it’s a light-tasting broth you can enjoy hot before a large winter meal or as a chilled starter in the warmer months.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “But I like garlic that tastes like garlic!” rest assured, I have a recipe for you too. Take a handful of peeled cloves and slice them into slivers. Heat some oil, and fry the slivers until they brown. Sprinkle with salt for an unexpected take on croutons that packs a punch. 

Make sure you reserve the garlic-infused cooking oil to make a tasty vinaigrette. You can even add a few fried slivers to the salad dressing for more brazen, garlicky goodness. When it comes to garlic, a little (or a lot) is rarely enough.


Brisket with 40 Cloves of Garlic
For the love of garlic, use your immersion blender to whirl the sweet, slow-cooked cloves and pan juices into the easiest, tastiest gravy any brisket has ever known.
4 to 6 servings

1 3½-lb. beef brisket
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 heads of garlic, peeled (about 40 cloves)
1 large white onion, cut into 1-inch rings
2 cups beef broth
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes

• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle both sides of the brisket with the salt, thyme and pepper. 

• In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the brisket and sear without moving until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and sear the other side 2 to 3 minutes. Move the brisket to a plate and set aside. Do not wipe out the Dutch oven.

• Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic and onion and saute until the garlic browns and the onion softens, about 3 minutes. 

• Add the broth and tomatoes and deglaze the pan by scraping up any burned bits. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. 

• Place the brisket, fat side up, on top of the onions and garlic, and spoon the sauce and vegetables over the brisket. Cover the Dutch oven and transfer to the oven. Cook until tender, about 3 hours. Transfer the brisket to a plate and let it rest 10 minutes. 

• Skim any fat off the top of the braising liquid. Use an immersion blender to puree the onion, garlic and braising liquid into gravy, adding salt and pepper to taste. Slice the brisket across the grain and serve with the gravy.

Roasted Garlic Spread
This mild, creamy spread is delicious on crostini as an appetizer, dolloped on steak or a baked potato, or smeared on a hamburger or hoagie.
1/3 cup

4 heads of garlic
4 tsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
¼ tsp. fleur de sel
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. lemon juice

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

• Peel the garlic, leaving just enough skin to hold the cloves together. Cut ¼ inch off the top of each head to expose the cloves. 

• Place the heads of garlic, cut side up, in a medium baking dish. Brush the olive oil onto the garlic, pushing the oil between the cloves. Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake until the center cloves are soft and the outer cloves begin to caramelize, about 1 hour. 

• Remove the foil and let the garlic rest until cool enough to handle. Use a sharp knife to extract the cloves from the head then use your fingers to press the roasted garlic paste from each clove into a small bowl. Add the butter, fleur de sel, pepper and lemon juice. Use a fork to combine the ingredients. Adjust seasonings to taste. The paste will keep for a week in an airtight, refrigerated container.

herbed garlic soup // photo by carmen troesser

Herbed Garlic Soup 
Pureed, simmered garlic gives this soup a mellow, dairy-free creaminess.
6 servings 

3 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
2 fresh bay leaves
8 cups water
2 heads of garlic, peeled (approximately 20 cloves)
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 egg yolks
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
6 French baguette slices
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 oz. shredded Gruyere, plus more for serving
1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Special equipment: cheesecloth

• Add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves to a 12-inch square piece of cheesecloth. Tie the ends together to make a bouquet garni. 

• Pour the water into a medium soup pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add the bouquet garni, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat then cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.

• Turn off the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the bouquet garni and any garlic skins that have floated to the top. Use an immersion blender to puree the garlic cloves until the broth is smooth and cloudy. Return the heat to low. 

• Place the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl or immersion blender cup. Pulse the yolks with the immersion blender until they are foamy. Continue to pulse while slowly adding the olive oil. The mixture should become the texture of mayonnaise. Continue pulsing while slowly adding ½ cup hot broth to the egg mixture. 

• Add the egg mixture and vinegar to the soup pot. Pulse with the immersion blender to combine then remove from heat. When the soup reaches room temperature, refrigerate overnight to deepen flavors.

• Before serving, bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. 

• Preheat the broiler with the rack 6 inches from the heat source. Brush the slices of baguette with the melted butter and top with the Gruyere. Toast until the cheese is bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes. 

• Divide the soup between the bowls. Top with the Gruyere toasts, garnish with the parsley and serve with extra Gruyere on the side.

salad with garlic vinaigrette and garlic croutons // photo by carmen troesser

Simple Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
2 servings 

3 Tbsp. reserved garlic oil (recipe follows)
1 Tbsp. Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. plus 2 crispy garlic “croutons” (recipe follows), divided
1 head butter lettuce, chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped chives
1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp. roasted garlic vinaigrette
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• Combine the garlic oil, vinegar, parsley, pepper flakes, salt, mustard and croutons in an 8-ounce jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well blended. Refrigerate overnight to develop flavors before serving.

• Arrange the lettuce, chives, parsley and crispy garlic on a serving dish. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the pepper and serve immediately.

Crispy Garlic 'Croutons'
Try fried garlic as an unexpected salad topper or on a cheese plate in place of nuts. Reserve the cooking oil to make an easy, flavorful vinaigrette.
2 heaping tablespoons 

1 head of garlic, peeled (approximately 10 cloves)
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1/8 tsp. kosher salt

• Slice the garlic cloves lengthwise into thin slivers. Set a strainer over a bowl in the sink. 

• In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Watch the garlic carefully; once it begins to brown, it burns quickly. 

• Pour the oil and garlic over the strainer. Reserve the garlic oil to make vinaigrette. Spread the garlic slivers on paper towels and blot dry. Sprinkle with the salt.

Kellie Hynes is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine. 

Tags : Recipes