- When selecting, choose garlic that is plump and firm with paper-like skins that are tight and intact. Avoid any that are soft or that have begun to shrivel.
- Place garlic cloves in the microwave for 15 seconds and the skins should peel off easily.
- Keep peeled and mince garlic fresh by placing it in a small jar and pouring just enough olive oil over it to cover the garlic and then place it in the refrigerator. It will keep its fresh flavor for about a week.
- Don't throw out sprouting garlic. Instead, plant the cloves fairly close together in a pot or in the garden (if your climate is suitable at the time). The new shoots that appear will have a mild garlic flavor and can be used in the same manner as regular chives.
Breaking the bulb: Begin by removing the outer layer of the garlic. With stem pointed into work surface and bulb at a slight angle, press down and away with the heal of your hand. This will break the garlic bulb into "cloves".
|Peeling the clove: First trim off the root end. Twist the clove between your fingers to loosen the skin. Once the skin has loosened, remove.|
If the garlic is fresh, loosening the skin tends to be more difficult.
The clove can now be cooked whole, or it can be sliced, chopped, minced, or smashed.
The intensity of flavor of fresh garlic depends upon how the garlic is prepared, for example:
|Mild Flavor||Sliced Clove|
|Full Flavor||Minced Clove|
|Intense Flavor||Smashed Clove|
Leftover garlic cloves. After the garlic has been broken from the bulb, store in a cool, dark place. It will keep for 3 to 10 days.