One of the most used ingredients when cooking, you either love it or hate it. Its undeniably characteristic taste turns the most simple dishes unique. Its a bulb, formed by many cloves (smaller bulbs) wrapped in multiple layers. It can be white or pink and can vary in size.
First of all you’ll need to separate the cloves from the sheaths they are in and then peel them – now the options are several: if you want to give just a hint, leave the clove whole or cut it in half and get rid of the green core; otherwise, if you want the taste to be strong but you don’t want to eat it, cut it in slices so that you can recognize it on your dish; if you are garlic lovers, you can mince it or even use a garlic press.
Keep in mind that dry garlic – the one you can find all year long, except for late spring, when you can find it fresh – is stronger flavor and that some varieties, like pink garlic from Sulmona can have a slightly different and more delicate aroma.
As we were saying before, garlic can be used pretty much everywhere in cuisine, but
it is exceptionally good for mirepoix, with seafood (especially mussels and clams), in the classic tuscan bruschetta, and in some more special preparations like “bagna cauda” from Piedmont or French aioli sauce.
To attenuate the pungent flavor, you can soak some peeled cloves in milk for about an hour, then drain and use them (the same procedure is used for sliced onions).