My mother is a fabulous cook, but in my childhood home, garlic was that powdered stuff we sprinkled modestly over steaks. I’ve outgrown that aspect of my upbringing and now favor recipes that begin something like, “Take all the garlic you can find in the neighborhood. Mince…” My transition from flavor phobe to garlic maven was gradual — a little garlic bread here, a Caesar salad there. The process received a kick-start years ago when I was a newspaper reporter in New Mexico. A group that called itself the Placitas Garlic Growers’ Consortium invited me to visit them and hear their farm-to-market plans.
The centerpiece of their presentation was an “all garlic meal” — right down to the pièce de résistance, Garlic Brickle Ice Cream — which might have repelled reporters fainter of stomach but certainly captured my imagination.
What followed was a savory celebration that satisfied my senses and left me saturated with the pungent scent of this healthful, scrumptious herb. In other words: I reeked for days. But it was a good stench—at least to my way of thinking.
I no longer have the menu from that first garlic-suffused meal, but the following are some of my favorite recipes from a variety of sources. Once garlic harvest time has arrived you may have such an abundance of garlic you’ll be tempted to experiment with all, or at least some, of these tasty garlic combinations.
K.C. Compton is editor in chief of The Herb Companion and loves experimenting with garlic in any recipe she can.