For such a versatile vegetable, garlic has a bit of a bad reputation. In some European countries it’s well known as a way to ward off evil, and it’s even been called a vampire repellent a time or two thanks to a mention in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula.
But for people who like flavourful food and holistic remedies, garlic only has the power to repel illness and spice up whatever you’re eating. Garlic recipes also have the power to give you seriously bad breath, but that becomes beside the point when whatever you’ve eaten to get into that condition is so good, you won’t care if you have to chew gum for the rest of the day.
Yes, garlic is one of those ingredients you can base an entire meal around, and that’s probably why there’s a National Garlic Day every April 19th. To celebrate all things garlic, I’m going to share three amazing garlic recipes that I have tried at home.
Small appliances you can use to make garlic recipes
Use a few of these small appliances to create garlic recipes.
If you love garlic, you need to have a garlic press on hand. These gadgets takes a clove, skin it, and even ejects the peel. All you’re left with is delicious garlic.
A chopper/grinder like the Cusinart Chopper/Grinder will grind up your garlic, cheese, and even puree baby food.
Cast iron pan
When you want to roast whole cloves of garlic, nothing works better than a cast iron pan.
3 of the best garlic recipes you can try
There are so many ways to use garlic, you’ll have a hard time knowing where to start. These are recipes I’ve used at home when my main focus has been adding garlic to a meal, and there’s even a unique garlic dessert in the mix that you can try.
Garlic knot recipe
Inspired by Martha Stewart’s recipe, I’ve been making these garlic knots at home for years, and you can also just skip the knot shape and make them into buns.
I rely on my stand mixer to get the dough just right before I let it rise and cover them with garlic butter and spices.
1 cup warm-ish water
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup milk
2½ teaspoons sea salt
About six cups of bread flour
To top your garlic knots:
8 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons oregano. You can use fresh or dried. I normally use dry.
1 tablespoon rosemary
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons sea salt, coarse
To start, add warm water to a bowl. Place the sugar and yeast in the bowl, stir, and let it stand for 10 minutes.
Mix melted butter, milk, salt, and 3 cups of flour together in the bowl. I use my stand mixer to mix these and then add in the yeast mixture.
If you need more flour, keep adding it in ¼ cup increments until your dough is in a nice ball and is smooth.
Divide into two separate dough balls.
In a separate bowl combine butter, oregano, rosemary, and garlic. Divide dough into small tubes and roll them into knots by twisting them into a pretzel shape. Dip each ball into the butter mixture and add them to a loaf pan or cake pan.
Cover and let them rise until they’ve doubled. I like to use the bread proofing feature on my range so doubling happens faster. If your dough doesn’t double it could be your yeast hasn’t activated or your kitchen could be too cool, so if they don’t rise try the oven method and see. If you don’t have a bread proofing feature on your range, just turn your oven on to 170 degrees and then turn it off. Place the pan of garlic buns in the oven for ½ hour and check.
Once your garlic buns have doubled, heat up your oven to 350 degrees. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, and before serving, sprinkle with sea salt.
Garlic mashed potatoes
A family favourite, garlic mashed potatoes are what I make in the dead of winter when everyone can’t seem to warm up or when someone has a cold. It really seem to help, and they always taste delicious. Image from allrecipes.com.
Two whole heads of garlic
One large bag of local potatoes peeled and cut up for boiling
1 cup of half and half
5 tablespoons of salted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat up your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top off your garlic heads and place them in an oven safe pan or cast iron pan. Drizzle the garlic heads with olive oil and wrap them in tin foil.
Bake garlic heads for one full hour. They should be tender when you remove them, and you should be able to easily squeeze out the garlic cloves and discard the skins.
Boil your potatoes in a large pot, add salt to taste. It usually takes ½ hour to boil potatoes, but you can also make them in the pressure cooker. I like to add the potatoes to the bottom of the pressure cooker, add ½ cup vegetable broth, and turn them on for 15 minutes.
Once your potatoes are cooked, drain the pot. In a separate pan heat up the half and half, butter, and garlic. Pour over potatoes and mash until smooth. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
Pineapple-garlic upside down cake
File this cake under ‘Food they would eat in the Upside Down.’ Who else would think of putting garlic in a pineapple upside down cake? It’s an interesting combo, and if you’re looking for unique recipes to try with garlic, this is one is a must. Recipe adapted from a recipe found on the Food Network.
Ingredients for yellow cake:
3 cups sifted cake flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons salt
1 ¾ cups sugar
2/3 cup butter
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 ¼ tsp milk
Ingredients for Pineapple garlic upside down
2⁄3 cup butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 (20 ounce) sliced pineapple, drained
5 garlic cloves, chopped or roasted
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare your yellow cake
Add flour, baking powder, and salt to a bowl. Blend or sift.
Cream sugar, melted butter, and 2 eggs in your stand mixer. Add in vanilla.
Add dry ingredients to the bowl, alternating with milk. Continue alternating until both dry ingredients and milk have been added.
Beat on medium speed for one minute.
Prepare your pan
Using a large baking dish, spread butter all over the bottom
Sprinkle your pan with brown sugar.
Arrange your pineapple slices across the entire pan
Place a few pieces of garlic in the center of each pineapple ring, then sprinkle any remaining garlic all over pan
Pour prepared cake batter into pan, covering the pineapple/garlic completely.
Bake for half hour or until a tooth pick comes clean.
Cool slight before serving.
For maximum impact, turn it out onto a serving platter before serving.
I’ll bet these garlic recipes are ones that you haven’t tried yet, and I highly recommend you do so soon. After all, when are you going to have another day to celebrate such an amazing little vegetable?
Celebrate all things garlic by stocking your kitchen with small appliances from Best Buy.