Compost Blog

A Cook's Larder Tip: Prepped Garlic

FOUND IN: The Fare on February 23, 2013

 

I use a lot of garlic in my cooking. However, I don't always want to stop and chop every time I prepare a meal. I could buy prepared garlic in jars at the grocery store, but I don't like all of those chemicals and preservatives in my food. Frankly, I don't like the taste or smell of prepared garlic, either. So here's my solution:

When I buy garlic, I buy the firmest, tightest heads I can find. The next time I need chopped garlic, I mince a whole head or sometimes two. I crush the heads with the heel of my hand, separate the cloves, smash each one under the blade of my chef's knife  to flatten it and  then start chopping. If the garlic is very sticky, I sprinkle a tiny bit of kosher salt (which I keep in a ceramic jar at my work station) on it. This helps keep it from sticking to the knife and makes it faster and easier to chop. Once the garlic is evenly chopped, I put it in a small ramekin, cover it with olive oil and then with plastic wrap. It will keep like that in the fridge for a week or more. I add more olive oil than is necessary to cover the garlic. That gives me some garlic-flavored oil to drizzle on bread for bruschetta or to use as a finishing oil for salads. When I need garlic to make a dish, I simply spoon out the chopped garlic and add more oil to keep it covered. Dinner prep is a snap when I have the garlic ready to go.

Note: prepped garlic needs to be refrigerated and covered completely with oil or it can spoil.