“One of my gripes about garlic is the flavor just keeps giving—hours or even days later,” says Christopher Kimball. It’s why the Milk Street kitchen has found a better way to handle this special allium.
If you want to flavor a soup, stew or sauce with garlic without leaving that harsh bite in the final dish—while saving time instead of mincing—try leaving the garlic head intact. Simply chop off the top third and drop the garlic head into the liquid. Let it simmer until the cloves are soft, and then remove the head with tongs and squeeze the softened cloves out of their husks, back into the broth, stew or whatever you’re making.
You’ll get the same sweet flavor here that you’ll get from roasting a whole garlic head or individual cloves. But this trick doesn’t require you to turn on your oven and cooks in the same pot that you’re already using.
We use this method in our no-sear lamb and chickpea stew.
If you don’t want to use an entire head of garlic, you can use this trick with individual cloves, too.
One of our favorite ways to add flavor to pasta is to put garlic cloves on a wooden skewer and drop them into boiling water along with the dry noodles. By the time the pasta has cooked, the cloves will have softened and obtained that nice sweet flavor. Next, you would simply smash the cloves with the flat side of a chef’s knife or between the tines of a fork, and add the paste to your sauce.
You could use these poached garlic cloves for dressings and vinaigrettes, too, mashing them into the your vinegar or lemon juice before adding oil.
Watch this video to see how it's done:
For more clever ways to use garlic, head right this way.