Garlic has changed for me. Now that really good, hard-stemmed varieties are available, I love to use it just briefly cooked. I find that in the traditional uses—in mirepoix for stews and sauces—it is completely lost. That’s right, I almost never use it in tomato-based sauces—the onion does all the heavy lifting. If I want garlic in a sauce or a braise I add it late in the game. My favorite way to cook garlic is briefly and in abundance, so you can taste it. Cooked this way it’s the powerhouse we’ve always thought of it as. I love it just briefly cooked in oil and used with pasta or smeared on toast. Donna and I used it in great abundance with tomatoes and basil—the season is near! Here’s the video that uses the fantastic technique of mounting butter into tomato water.
The garlic you buy should look just like the above, big and thick with a hard stem, tight skin, solid cloves. When you cut into it, it should be juicy. The smaller and whiter the germ, the younger the garlic. Can’t wait for garlic to be back in season.
Just home from vacay with Mom and back to work, photography for the new book, but had to post this great shot from Donna. Very excited about tomorrow’s guest post on the almighty ham.
If you liked this post, you might be interested in these links:
- My post on making Cuban Picadillo.
- Check out Cleveland’s Annual Garlic Festival this September.
- Here’s a recipe for Garlic Soup with Spinach from the New York Times.
© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.