A member of the onion and leek family, garlic is one of the most commonly used flavouring ingredients worldwide. With its distinctive flavour and aroma it is especially popular in Asian, Oriental and Mediterranean cuisines. Fresh garlic is harvested and dried to produce the bulbs that are available all year round. Garlic bulbs consist of several individual cloves, which are wrapped in fine papery skin. When buying garlic choose plump succulent bulbs with unblemished skin. Avoid any bulbs that are sprouting.
How to Use
Garlic can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw garlic adds a kick to salad dressings, salsas, dips and spreads. Use raw garlic to make garlic butter to top cooked meat or fish or to spread on bread to make garlic bread. Garlic adds a wonderful flavour to a vast number of savoury dishes from curries, stir-fries and pasta sauces to soups and casseroles. Garlic can also be roasted and served as an accompaniment or garnish for savoury dishes.
How to Prepare
Divide the bulb into individual cloves and remove the papery skin, if required. Use the cloves whole or finely chop with a knife, crush in a garlic press or using a pestle and mortar. To prepare whole garlic bulbs for roasting, simply brush with olive oil.
How to Cook
Garlic can be fried or roasted. To fry garlic, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic, cook over a gentle heat and don't allow the garlic to brown or it will take on a bitter flavour. To roast garlic, preheat the oven to 170C, gas mark 3 and cook for about 45 minutes or until tender. Slice the bulbs in half and use to garnish soups or grilled or roasted meat or fish.
How to Store
Keep in a cool, dry place.