• Homemade garlic and rosemary potato chips (Amber Wilson)Source: Amber Wilson
Vampires and breaths beware, here's how to unleash your clove capability.
10 Aug 2017 - 10:31 AM  UPDATED 26 Jan 2021 - 9:59 PM

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1. Shake it off... 

Garlic got the Taylor Swift memo and if you want an easy-breezy way to peel a whole head of garlic in no time? Shake it off!

2. Keep it cool

Keep your garlic bulbs in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight and do not refrigerate.

Once you have peeled and cut your garlic, it is then fine to go into the fridge. Pop your cloves into an airtight container or a resealable ziplock bag to avoid garlic wafting throughout (taking over) your fridge. If you've got loads of garlic on hand, then roast it up and keep it refrigerated - roast garlic is a great addition to your salad and it also goes great in a killer garlic aioli. Basically, do it!

3. It's an infusion powerhouse

When you get that craving for a little comfort food having some garlic-infused oil or garlic butter on hand is never a bad thing. Make your own chilli-garlic butter popcorn or if you want a little more crunch then get your hands on these homemade chips, which use oil that has been infused with garlic and rosemary. Caution: they're more than slightly addictive.

Homemade garlic and rosemary potato chips

4. How strong do you like it?

If you are a garlic fiend then mincing, crushing and pulsing will give you a stronger hit of garlic - check out our herbed garlic dip croquettes recipe here. Otherwise, if you prefer a milder touch, finely slice or roughly chop your cloves instead, like in this salmon pâté idea.

5. Rub it for luck

A great way to enhance your salad is to cut your clove in half and rub both halves around an empty salad bowl before tossing your ingredients together. This fennel and potato salad with roasted leeks and crispy chickpeas is calling out for it.

6. Wait your turn, garlic

Whatever you do, don't push your garlic. Unlike butter, burning it won't do you any flavours and it will in fact take on a very bitter, unpleasant taste. A great way to cook with your garlic is to cook it over a lower heat or to add later in your cooking process. To make your own garlic paste, crush and chop your cloves and add salt to extract the flavour and breakdown the garlic. This is perfect for adding to soups, stews and in Matthew Evans perfect ratatouille recipe, which has you cooking your onion before your garlic - yes, it's true!

The perfect ratatouille

7. A quick game of squash

Take your garlic head, remove the hard root off each clove. Firmly press and squash each clove with the side of a knife blade. The skin should come off nicely and give you a great starting point to slice and dice, mince and splice as you wish. If you need to keep your cloves whole, twist and snap!

8. Save those skins!

Not just for the bin or compost, you can use your garlic skins easily at home. Once you rinse the skins and remove any excess dirt, they're great in this broad bean spread with roasted garlic ricotta as well as in homemade stocks. They can also be frozen for when you need to make your next batch of stock and check out Matthew Evans mussel and saffron broth which uses unpeeled garlic and red onion!

9. Handling your garlic

Here are a few options worth test driving:

• Rinse and rub your hands with a little salt and lemon juice.

• Coffee to the rescue? Rubbing a few beans or some ground coffee into your hands is said to help mask that garlicky smell very quickly. If you go the ground coffee route, do so under running water. 

• A common old wives' tale is using stainless steel. Rubbing your hands with a stainless steel spoon or on your kitchen sink under running water is said to void that whiff. Has this worked for you?

10. The 'it' couple

Watch out Hollywood, Garlato is the 'it' couple that's here to stay.

Matthew Evans pairs superb fresh local garlic and super-duper spuds in this comforting bowl of garlic soup. "To showcase the flavour garlic, I'm going to fry up half the garlic and then the other half of the garlic I'll add to the end," Matthew says and this two-step approach really enhances this soupy number.

Wherever there's garlic, there's a crowd-worthy recipe to do it justice. Start here.

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