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April 30, 2010 8:21 PM   Subscribe

How can I eat a whole bulb of garlic in one sitting?

I'm looking for recipes/methods which may help in eating a whole bulb of garlic in one meal. I can't eat it raw; its just too strong for me. I know about roasting it in the oven inside of a clay pot with olive oil. That's a really good idea, but I'm looking for more ideas!

I'm also not looking for big meals that use a whole bulb as I can't eat a whole chicken or whatever in one meal. For example I recently made a variation of beef stroganoff with all the cloves of a whole bulb. I put it in the slow cooker for 6 hours. When it was done, I took out a clove and ate it. A few meals later, I realized I had accidentally avoided getting more cloves with a serving. I actually searched what was left, and wasn't able to find any whole cloves at all. Wow. Does garlic actually liquefy like that?

So yeah, I'd like to know more methods for eating a whole bulb for a meal.

Oh yeah...I'm talking garlic, not shallots. GARLIC.
posted by hal_c_on to Food & Drink (55 answers total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
You really want to be roasting garlic if you're hoping to eat whole cloves. It's quite tasty - roasting it takes away the really garlicy kick and makes it sort of smoky-sweet. It's almost addictive. I find some good olive oil will make it perfect.
posted by koeselitz at 8:25 PM on April 30, 2010 [4 favorites]

oops, didn't read caveat. sorry
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:26 PM on April 30, 2010

the whole head of garlic chopped up with mozzarella cheese on a piece of Italian bread. toasted. yum

add 1/2 bottle red wine. heaven (and maybe stomach pains)
posted by bottlebrushtree at 8:26 PM on April 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

If you pickle the cloves they are delicious, not strong-tasting at all; you could easily eat an entire bulb.
posted by janerica at 8:28 PM on April 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

I'm a big fan of plain roasted with oil, but you can also then mix the roasted bulbs with boiled potatoes and milk/cream and mash them up.
posted by Billegible at 8:30 PM on April 30, 2010

Why do you want to eat a whole bulb of garlic in one sitting?
posted by madcaptenor at 8:30 PM on April 30, 2010 [20 favorites]

Argh, I swear I read this question four times and still missed that you already know about roasting it. Sorry.
posted by koeselitz at 8:30 PM on April 30, 2010

I've seen people use massive quantities of sliced garlic as a pizza topping.

You could also make very garlic-intensive hummus (I'd suggest roasting the garlic first).
posted by amtho at 8:31 PM on April 30, 2010

Roasted garlic mashed with mayo or veganaise makes a great dipping sauce for artichokes, potstickers, brocoli, or just spread on bread with slices of tomato or crunchy apples. Also, garlic risotto. epically garlic mashed potatoes. savory breakfast oatmeal with garlic and sausage. Bake bread. Green onion, garlic and ginger is the base for many Asian could fry up chunks of tofu/meat and carrots in the mix until caramelized goodness, toss in noodles, stir fry some more and yum!

Also, you can mash and freeze your extra garlic in ice cube trays...instant melt-able bullion servings.

God, I love garlic.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:35 PM on April 30, 2010

I make a skillet version of shrimp scampi with a whole bulb. You take as much raw shrimp as you like and saute it in as much butter, olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, lemon juice, black pepper as you like, along with the garlic bulb. It's unbelievable. Serve over rice or pasta.
posted by iconomy at 8:36 PM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Damn, Inspector.gadget got here with chicken w/ 40 cloves before me. One of my favorite meals - the same recipe works with a pork tenderloin, or with lamb. And you don't really have to have three pounds of meat for the 40 cloves, one will do.

I could easily eat a plate of vegies sauteed with a head of chopped garlic.

Chopped garlic is really a different taste than roasted though. I saw a chemical explanation of all that once, something to do with breaking the cells and mixing chemicals from inside and outside of them.
posted by Some1 at 8:36 PM on April 30, 2010

Er, mash and freeze your extra *roasted* garlic, not the raw stuff. That's just silly.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:37 PM on April 30, 2010

North by Northwest restaurant in Austin has roasted garlic bulbs as an appetizer, and they are fucking amazing. They're on a plate, whole, and you basically squeeze them onto toasted baguette slices. After roasting, they have a squishy texture, a little more firm than hummus.

Your farts will smell like garlic for two days. As in, "hey, did you just fart again? Because it smells like motherfucking garlic again."
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:38 PM on April 30, 2010 [6 favorites]

Seconding garlic bread.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:39 PM on April 30, 2010

You could try Black Garlic. I had a sample offered to me and it turned out to be pretty great and very edible plain. The taste is a cross between roasted garlic and... something else. Maybe dark miso or vegemite (but not bitter). Aside from the higher cost - $2 a bunch for me - I would have no problem eating a bunch in one sitting.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 8:39 PM on April 30, 2010

You can get olives stuffed with a clove of garlic. Totally possible to eat a bulbs worth of garlic with those.
posted by Widepath at 8:40 PM on April 30, 2010

Have been meaning to try Smitten Kitchen's 44-clove garlic soup, more out of intense curiosity than craving. The stuff on SK is pretty reliably delicious.
posted by aintthattheway at 8:50 PM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you're looking to eat it for health reasons (and I can't imagine why else anyone would want to deliberately eat that much at once, but who knows...) then from what I've read, you're better off eating it raw. A few suggestions:

Chop it up a bit and then spread it on heavily buttered bread. The two do a pretty good job of making it palatable.

Chop it fine, and swallow without chewing. Some chicken broth would probably help wash it down.

Mixing it with mayonnaise works well, and is yummy. But you'd have to eat a lot of garlic mayonnaise to ingest an entire bulb of garlic that way.

A restaurant I know of puts tremendous amounts of garlic in their baba ganoush. You will reek of garlic for 8-12 hours though.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:51 PM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wow. Does garlic actually liquefy like that?

Yes, it does. Definitive cooking lesson here.

Cent' Anni.
posted by rokusan at 8:55 PM on April 30, 2010

The only way I really ever enjoy eating broccoli and all of its broccoli-like cousins is by first slicing practically a whole head of garlic cloves and cooking them in a hot pan with some sesame oil. Take your broccoli that has been cut up into even sized pieces and stirfry them once your garlic slices have toasted to a light gold. Add soy sauce and a cup of stock or water (chicken, veggie, fish is tasty to me but whatever you have is fine) and let it boil away with the cover on. It'll get all the tasty garlic bits up from the bottom of the pan and lightly steam your vegetables. Finish with black pepper, chili flakes, more soy, maybe some fresh grated ginger. It's good hot or cold, and since the garlic starts out sliced it ends up getting cooked all through and kind of nutty tasting.
posted by Mizu at 8:59 PM on April 30, 2010 [8 favorites]

Cent' Anni.

Oh yeah...I totally understand being in prison and using a contraband razor for garlic prep rather than shivving. But one clove is cut razor thin into dozens of pieces. This was about 20 cloves disintegrating....after it was done cooking. How the hell did that happen?

Why do you want to eat a whole bulb of garlic in one sitting?

(and I can't imagine why else anyone would want to deliberately eat that much at once, but who knows...)

Yeah, I'm not on any fad diet or anything, I just really like garlic and would like to include more of it in my diet.

Thanks so much for helping out. You guys are kinda awesome...and odd. I posted this question at about 11pm EST...and 20+ responses showed up in 30 min. Wow.

Or it maybe that all you garlic-loving vampire hunters are out at this prime time.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:05 PM on April 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Chicken Stone - Adapted from a dish at a now-defunct restaurant called The Stone Hearth.

Peel a double handful of garlic cloves, about three or four heads. (bulbs)

Cut a pound or so of boneless chicken thighs into one-and-a-half inch chunks, salt and pepper the chunks. You should have about equal parts garlic and chicken.

Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to a hot skillet, put in the chicken and garlic. Stir frequently until cooked and browned. Remove to plates, splash liberally with balsamic vinegar, serve immediately. Put a piece of parsley on the plate if you want parsley on the plate. Some crusty bread in a basket would be nice.

Be aware that you might be a source of garlic vapor for a day or so.
posted by longsleeves at 9:24 PM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bagna cauda. The recipe I've linked only calls for four cloves, but trust me, you can use an entire bulb without altering the amounts of any of the other ingredients. Apparently it's traditional to use it as a dip for raw vegetables, but it's awesome on bread too. Also, a variation I like: leave some of the cloves whole, and let it simmer over very low heat for maybe 15 minutes or so until the whole cloves become soft.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:24 PM on April 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Garlic gelato
posted by hortense at 9:24 PM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Garlic broth is one of my favorite staples-to-have-on-hand!

Start by roasting garlic. I roast garlic whenever I use the oven -- just wet a head of garlic down, wrap it in tin foil, and throw it in the oven with whatever else you're doing. If the oven's around 350°f, leave it in for ~1 hour, down to 45 minutes if you're at 400-425°f. After it's roasted, chuck it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Squeeze out the cloves like toothpaste into a cup of water and half a cup of miso.

Blend in a blender until smooth.

Pour resulting goo into a small soup pot full of half water, half vegetable broth (or water with some bouillon cubes, whatever), let it boil, and voila! Garlic broth.

From there, you can either drink the broth plain, use it to cook dumplings before using the stock for other recipes, freeze it for later use, etc. My favorite thing to do is just throw in a bunch of stuff for a tasty soup, like...

- Extra-firm tofu, sliced thin (if you can find sprouted tofu, I like that the best for holding its shape in a soup)
- mushrooms (straw mushrooms are my favorite for this)
- chopped scallions (AKA green onions) including the green tops
- sliced carrots
- grated ginger
- baby corn

You can also put garlic into pesto...I would eat through a whole clove of garlic pretty damn fast in pesto. Yum.

For that:

Fresh basil
(High quality) Extra-virgin olive oil (I like Australian ones for pesto; they tend to have a grassy, bold flavor that goes well with the basil)
Salt to taste
Garlic!!! Either a lot of raw garlic, or a WHOLE lot of roasted garlic
Cheese, if you like -- peccorino romano is good, fontinella (NOT fontina) is best if you can find it

process everything in a food processor, adding just enough olive oil to get the basil moving and add the garlic & cheese from there.
posted by kitarra at 9:28 PM on April 30, 2010 [12 favorites]

Cream of garlic soup. This recipe calls for 2 cups chopped garlic, which works out to about 10 bulbs' worth, and it says it makes 8 servings, so that's more than a bulb per serving.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:29 PM on April 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

My housemate roasted a whole bunch of garlic, mashed it up, and stuck a jar of it in the fridge. It is the best thing ever. I can totally imagine spreading at least a bulb's worth of it on a sandwich. And it's a condiment-like form factor, so you can basically mix it in or spread it on anything you want for basically zero effort.
posted by rivenwanderer at 9:31 PM on April 30, 2010

In addition to roasting in Olive Oil, you can also soak a head of Garlic in red wine, then roast. (Cabernet works well.) The taste is different than roasting in oil.
posted by dws at 9:44 PM on April 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Strip House in NYC serves a roasted bulb with their steaks. What I do is pop out all the cloves and mash them into the meat before I eat it.
posted by brujita at 10:33 PM on April 30, 2010

GarLic It!
posted by mayhap at 11:03 PM on April 30, 2010

Finely chopped, add into spaghetti sauce (probably at least 2 cans/bottles), combined with chopped celery/tomatoes/onion/green pepper/whatever. While that's going, boil-up some pasta, but not too much, the sauce cooking is hearty enough as it is.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 11:59 PM on April 30, 2010

If you don't have the time/patience to roast all that garlic, you can roast it in a skillet much faster--break up the cloves and leave their skin on. Toss them into a skillet over medium heat, stir often, and pull off the heat after about ten minutes. Good for when you've not planned ahead.

One of our favorite things here is garlic-parmesan chicken wings: roast wings (pat them dry, then put them in a 450 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, flipping once). While that's happening, peel and chop a head of garlic. Sautee the garlic in a tablespoon or two of butter--cook until the garlic's soft. When the garlic's soft, add some Italian dressing (from a bottle), hot sauce, and a ton of parmesan. Toss the wings in this, and then soak up the excess with bread. This sauce is also embarrassingly good over pasta. If you increase the butter and leave off the dressing (or add powdered Italian dressing mix instead) you have a fantastic popcorn topping. I can easily eat a head or two of garlic in any of those preparations.

If you like artichokes, a head of roasted garlic mashed into a tablespoon of melted butter is a fantastic sauce.

Roast a head or three of garlic. Buy a jar of unstuffed green olives. Spend the evening picking up an olive, stuffing a clove of garlic into it, and eating it. My tolerance for olives is higher than most people's, but I've eaten the better part of a pound of olives (and several heads of garlic) like this.

I make garlic green beans that have a whole head of garlic in them--peel and slice the garlic, heat butter, sautee garlic for a few minutes, then add a bunch of topped and tailed green beans. (Or a well-rinsed and drained can of green beans.) Cook the green beans longer than you'd expect to--let them get speckled with brown. When I lived with my parents, I was forbidden to make this because my father couldn't stand the smell of all that garlic. Thankfully, my husband and daughter love it.

I'll also second the stir-fry--my stir-fries are often mostly garlic, plus bits of whatever veggies I can find around the kitchen.

I haven't tried this yet, but I'm desperate to make fried roasted garlic. Roast the cloves so that they're fully cooked, but not mush. Bread them in the batter of your choice (I'm thinking beer batter with a little cornmeal in it) and fry them in 350 oil until they're golden brown. Eat like you would fried mushrooms, only more delicious. (Alternative suggestion: roast garlic as described, place on mushroom, bread entire thing, and fry that. Maybe with a little cheese? Essentially deep-fried stuffed mushrooms. I've not tried that yet, either, but I assure you that I totally want to.)

Garlic noodle soup--take a weak chicken or veggie broth, and simmer garlic (and maybe ginger) in it until the garlic's gone soft. Add chunks of protein (tofu or chicken, in my house), bits of greens (spinach or chard), and whatever other veggies you have hanging around. Throw in some softened rice noodles, and serve with sesame oil and sweet chili sauce. I eat buckets of this when I'm sick.

Yes, we do eat an appalling amount of garlic in this house.
posted by MeghanC at 1:25 AM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Capellini Aglio e Olio. With finely grated parmagiano reggiano. Super simple and really tasty.
posted by lunaazul at 1:36 AM on May 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

If you have the chance, buy Elephant Garlic. It's more mild and huge - throwing one of these in the oven for a while to roast results in huge soft cloves you can spread on bread or crackers or add to any dish without bringing the overpowering flavor you might expect.
posted by jardinier at 2:37 AM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I once made a batch of beer which was essentially a light ale, intentionally a bit under-hopped, but with three or four heads of garlic in a 5-gallon batch. It wasn't for everyone, but I thought it went pretty darned well with pizza and other tomato dishes. Might not get you a whole head in a sitting unless you have a prodigious thirst, but it should enable you to boost your levels.

Also, Korean barbecue with the yummy Korean garlic/chili sauce. Bite of meat, bit of some sort of pickled veggie, dollop of sauce, all wrapped in a leaf of lettuce. Mix in kimchi and soju. Repeat until sated. Or passed out. Mmmmm.
posted by DaveP at 3:18 AM on May 1, 2010

Make a bruschetta, or salsa, whatever you want to call it:

- Roma tomatoes
- Spanish/red onion
- Bulb of garlic
- Salt, pepper, olive oil

Chop up the first three things. I'd go with three Roma tomatoes, one onion, and your bulb. Chop them and dice them and put them in a bowl all mixed up like crazy. Season liberally with salt and pepper and drown it in olive oil. Mixy mixy. If you're like me you want to give it some kick so throw some jalapenos in there, or habaneros or whatever your favourite pepper is, but the hotter they are the less you need to use because they will just overpower the bruschetta. I also dice strawberries in mine. You can eat this stuff right away but I find it's a lot tastier if your chuck it in the fridge overnight. Serve on top of toasted bruschetta bread, or with soft French loaf. NOM.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:43 AM on May 1, 2010

Roast it and spread it on bread.
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:20 AM on May 1, 2010

When I make a 6 hour pork roast, I cut tiny slits all over a Boston butt and stuff each slit with a clove of garlic. I then salt and pepper the roast and stick it in a 300 degree oven. 6 hours later-- heaven! This is great for intensive gardening days when I am too tired to think about cooking dinner.

Also I buy great jars of pickled garlic from the Middle Eastern Deli, and the chopped-up cloves make a wonderful replacement for pickle relish in dishes such as chicken salad sandwiches, bratwurst dogs, or tossed green salads.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:30 AM on May 1, 2010

Finely chopped garlic cooked slowly with good olive oil in a pan until it goes deep golden. Use enough oil so that there's both soft garlic and garlic-flavored oil. Theoretically this then goes in a jar in the fridge for future use, but my tribe are garlic freaks so there aren't ever leftovers. I usually use at least one full bulb, but sometimes three or four.

It goes on bread, cheese, cured meats, roasted meats, vegetables, fingers, spoons, etc.
posted by catlet at 6:13 AM on May 1, 2010

One night, I was craving garlic so much that I decided to chop up some cloves and fry them in butter. I basically made the equivalent of potato chips (or crushed "potato stix") with chopped garlic. I could've eaten a whole bulb of that! Mmmm.
posted by kimota at 6:21 AM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

My grandma makes a delicious 'garlic curry'.

I'm not sure of the exact recipe but I'm sure it goes something like this:

Lightly sauté some minced onion/shallot in a pan. You can also saute a couple cloves of finely minced garlic and some ginger at this point if you want the dish to have a little pungency. Add turmeric, curry powder, curry leaves (if available), and chili powder. You want to go light on spicing here as the cooked garlic has a relatively delicate flavour. Sauté until aromatic.

Add a whole bunch of peeled whole garlic cloves, at least 2-3 bulbs. Sauté until aromatic. Add a small amount of water and cover, adding more water and covering again if dish gets dry before garlic is done. Season with salt and pepper.

Garlic is done when they are tender and delicious.

Eat with rice and a few other curries, preferably using your fingers.
posted by sid at 6:25 AM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I am a big fan of this Jamie Oliver chicken recipe. You don't even have to peel the garlic (!), so it's really easy. The garlic cloves turn out so mushy and delicious, I always throw in double the amount. I'm sure it can be increased even more without making the chicken weird.
posted by phunniemee at 6:48 AM on May 1, 2010

Just use it anywhere you'd use onion, and throw it in early enough it's fully cooked.

I sometimes have bolognaise with so much garlic (and by sometimes, I mean - I only SOMETIMES have bolognaise), that about 20 minutes after I've eaten, the smell of garlic starts rising from my pores, and the smell is so delicious that I wander off and have another small bowlfull.
Repeat until bolognaise consumed, or bedtime. Whichever comes first.

posted by Elysum at 6:52 AM on May 1, 2010

The best way and I can't believe its not mentioned here is to bring the peeled cloves to the boil for two minutes from cold water, rinse and repeat four times.

This technique eliminates all the bad flavours and you are left with a wonderfully mild tasting garlic that you can then purée to use as an accompaniment to grilled meats, fish or nearly anything.

Here is an example of the technique being used to provide a sauce for frog legs.

Bernard Loiseau's garlic puree

Obviously roasting works great too, I've been known to eat a whole roasted blub spread on toast with some pan juices as an accompaniment.
posted by camerasforeyes at 6:58 AM on May 1, 2010

We made this garlic potato smash that involved parboiling a bulb's worth of garlic cloves, skins and all first. We peeled out the cloves, and I tried one; they tasted mild and 'nutty' almost bland. Then we stirred them into the smashed potatoes with lots of butter and salt. Mmmmmm.
posted by wobh at 7:23 AM on May 1, 2010

Make toum. Put it on everything as it is completely addictive.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:32 AM on May 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Get Korean pickled garlic that they sell as side dishes.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:59 AM on May 1, 2010

Sliver garlic (I have a wee garlic mandoline) and saute in olive oil. Add chopped tomato, saute to your liking. Add spinach. Remove from heat and eat.
This was given to me by a woman from Slovenia as her family's traditional cold cure, and she said the more garlic you eat in this the faster you will get over your cold. I go for a whole head when I'm ill, but somewhat less when I'm not.
posted by littleflowers at 7:03 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've made garlic salsa. It was a while ago, so I've forgotten the other ingredients. Garlic was over 50% of the stuff though.
posted by yohko at 8:51 PM on May 1, 2010

20+ responses showed up in 30 min. Wow. Or it maybe that all you garlic-loving vampire hunters are out at this prime time.


I often start cooking by chopping up garlic and some basil leaves and simmering them together in a little pan of olive oil. The house smells great long before I've even decided what I'm cooking today.
posted by rokusan at 10:44 PM on May 1, 2010

Garlic puree goes in pretty much anything. I've always made it by poaching in fat (smash and peel your head of garlic; add butter, oil, milk, or wine to a sauce pan; simmer, covered, for half an hour; blend) but now I really want to try the method camerasforeyes mentioned.

Eat it as a garnish. Spread it on toasty bread.

Or use it as an ingredient. You might add it to a Béchamel along with a bit of nutmeg and serve over squash ravioli. Or lightly sear softened broad beans, and serve with a sauce made from your garlic and some barely cooked smashed tomato, topped with basil chiffonade. Maybe mix it into some softened (but not melted) butter, chill, and keep it in your fridge. Whip it out to put on toast, or asparagus, or a steak. A cache of herbed butter lets you make crazy good food crazy fast.

As long as you cook the garlic to tame its pungency -- roasting, poaching, blanching, whatever -- you can easily go through a head in one dish because it's so tasty and mild.

oh man I have to go now and have some of that broccoli just fill up the kiddie pool and throw me in no lie
posted by amery at 4:24 PM on May 2, 2010

BOIL IT! It comes out intact (not disintegrated) and tastes awesome.

In Louisiana they toss whole bulbs into crawfish boils. It's boiled along with spicy seasoning and other ingredients.

Barring that, roast it and mash it into potatoes.
posted by jander03 at 6:54 PM on May 2, 2010

Garlic soup is one of ny all tine favorites dishes!!! Loads of sweet flavor!~

3 tablespoons chicken, goose, or pork fat
30 peeled garlic cloves (or more or fewer)
6 to 8 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
4 or 5 egg yolks
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
slices of bread, toasted until crisp

1. Melt the fat over low heat, then add the garlic. Cook, without browning, until the garlic has become very soft. This will take half an hour or more.

2. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, and a little freshly grated nutmeg. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Blend the soup either with a stick blender or by allowing the soup to cool slightly and pouring it into a blender. Blend so the soup is completely smooth.

4. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl then stir in the olive oil. Begin tempering the eggs by adding hot but not boiling soup to the eggs a small amount of the time while beating the eggs. When you've added a half cup of broth or so to the eggs, pour the egg mixture into the broth beating while you do. Heat the mixture being careful not to let the soup come to a boil. You want to make sure you don't curdle the eggs.

5. Place a bread slice in the bottom of each bowl and pour the soup over top. Serve.
posted by xammerboy at 10:44 AM on May 3, 2010

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