New garlic shows up in grocery stores and farmer’s markets this time of year, in all its plump, pungent variety. In France, harvest fêtes celebrate midsummer bounty with huge tables laden with young vegetables steamed, grilled, or au naturel, and garlic in every imaginable guise. Our garlic feast is both healthy and hearty, right down to the unexpectedly delicious dessert.
Garden Gazpacho with Garlic Croutons
This flavor-packed cold soup makes a great dinner starter or a satisfying lunch with bread and cheese. Make extra garlic croutons—they’re a tempting snack.
A Palette of Three Sauces: Aioli, Tapenade, Rouille
Aioli, or garlic mayonnaise, is a wonderful dipping sauce for fresh, steamed, or grilled vegetables. For the tapenade, use high-quality imported olives. Rouille, a rust-colored pepper sauce, is sometimes fiery, sometimes not, though it’s generally made with some kind of hot chile.
Bulbs of Roasted Garlic
Roasted garlic has many uses, but it’s at its very best warm, squeezed from its skin, and smeared on good bread with a little of its roasting oil. It’s wonderful in soups, vinaigrettes, and sauces, and makes the world’s best mashed potatoes. Slow roasting makes garlic lose most of its heat and turn nutty and sweet with a pleasant, mild flavor.
Chickpea Salad with Garlic and Herbs
This salad is best prepared with dried chickpeas, but canned ones that have been drained and rinsed are a time-saving alternative. Serve as a side dish or as a main course salad on a bed of greens garnished with summer ripe tomatoes, or with couscous or rice.
Chocolate Chip-Roasted Garlic Cookies and Ice Cream Sandwiches
When garlic is roasted it turns nutty sweet and loses its pungency. Roasting the garlic in a nut oil emphasizes that flavor. You’ll be surprised by the succulence and depth of these cookies—no one will guess the secret ingredient. They’re great on their own or fashioned into ice cream sandwiches.
Assorted fresh, steamed and grilled vegetables, rustic peasant bread, and dishes of olive oil with minced raw garlic top off this garlic-inspired dinner menu.