Oh my gosh! Look at this! she declared while triumphantly waving a whole garlic clove impaled on the end of her fork. We all admired it as if she’d found a pearl in an oyster, then she popped it in her mouth, swooned with delight at its creamy deliciousness and dove back into the plate of garlic truffle fries to find another.
Not everyone reacts this way when finding a mass of allium sativum in their meal, but cooked, whole garlic cloves are actually as mild as milk toast. Garlic’s other forms (mashed, crushed, grated, minced, chopped, sliced) are stronger in flavor. Just how strong is determined by the amount of disruption done to the garlic’s cells. The more they are ruptured the more potent the garlic is.
You can transform garlic cloves to any of these forms with a knife. Or you can try out one of the many gadgets available that make working with garlic easier or funner. Presses, twists, cubes, tubes or mortar and pestles are a few products you’ll find on the shelves at kitchensink.
PUT TO THE TEST: zak! Designs Garlic Tube Peeler + Garlic Cube by Endurance
One of my husband’s favorite dinners is aglio et olio (spaghetti with garlic and olive oil). I could make it blindfolded, but don’t for obvious reasons. The basic recipe I use is this one from Lidia Bastianich: Click here. I modify the dickens out of it, which I will explain below, but here you can enjoy listening to Lidia and Martha Stewart’s witty banter (I think Martha is mad at Mario Batali) as well as their tips and techniques.
The recipe calls for ten cloves of sliced garlic. I use twelve. There’s a reason but I’ll tell you later.
For slicing, I’m testing the Garlic Cube by Endurance. It’s a fun little gadget for slicing and coarse chopping. It requires the garlic cloves to be peeled before using so I’m also testing out the zak! Designs Garlic Tube Peeler (ZDGTP)