What to Do With Lots of Garlic

What to Do With Lots of Garlic: Exploring Culinary Possibilities

Garlic, with its pungent aroma and distinct flavor, is a staple ingredient in many cuisines around the world. Its versatility and health benefits make it a must-have in any kitchen. But what should you do when you find yourself with an abundance of garlic? Fear not! In this article, we will explore various ways to make the most of your surplus garlic and answer some frequently asked questions about this remarkable ingredient.

1. Make garlic-infused oil: Infusing oil with garlic not only imparts a delicious flavor but also extends the shelf life of your garlic. Simply peel and crush the garlic cloves, then combine them with your favorite oil. Let it sit for a few days to allow the flavors to meld together, and strain out the garlic before using.

2. Roast it: Roasting garlic mellows out its sharpness and brings out a sweet, nutty flavor. Cut the top off a whole garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil, and roast until soft and golden. Squeeze the roasted cloves out of their skins and spread on bread or use as a flavorful addition to sauces and dressings.

3. Ferment it: Fermented garlic is not only tasty but also provides additional health benefits. Fermentation enhances the garlic’s flavor and increases its nutritional value. Simply peel the cloves, place them in a jar, cover with saltwater brine, and let it ferment for a few weeks. The resulting fermented garlic can be used in various dishes or enjoyed as a condiment.

4. Turn it into paste: Garlic paste is a convenient way to add flavor to your dishes. Peel and mince the garlic cloves, then use a mortar and pestle or a food processor to blend it into a smooth paste. Store the paste in a jar in the refrigerator for future use.

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5. Preserve it: Extend the shelf life of your garlic by preserving it. One method is to pickle garlic cloves in a vinegar-based solution, creating a tangy and crunchy snack. Another option is to dehydrate the garlic cloves and grind them into a powder, which can be used in seasoning blends or sprinkled over dishes as a finishing touch.

6. Make garlic butter: Garlic butter is a versatile ingredient that can elevate any meal. Combine softened butter with minced garlic, herbs, and a pinch of salt. Spread it on bread, melt it over grilled meats, or use it to make garlic bread or garlic mashed potatoes.

7. Whip up some aioli: Aioli, a creamy garlic sauce, is a classic accompaniment to many dishes. Mix minced garlic, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and a touch of salt until well combined. Use it as a dip, spread, or condiment for sandwiches, burgers, or seafood.

8. Create a garlic rub: A garlic rub is a fantastic way to add flavor to meats and vegetables. Combine minced garlic with your favorite herbs, spices, and oil to form a paste. Rub it onto your desired food before grilling, baking, or roasting for an aromatic and flavorful result.

9. Infuse vinegar: Garlic-infused vinegar adds a punch of flavor to dressings, marinades, and sauces. Crush peeled garlic cloves and let them steep in vinegar for a few days. Strain out the garlic and use the infused vinegar in your culinary creations.


1. How long does garlic last?
Fresh garlic can last for several months if stored properly in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place.

2. Can I freeze garlic?
Yes, you can freeze garlic. Peel and mince the cloves, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag, and store in the freezer for up to six months.

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3. Can I substitute garlic powder for fresh garlic?
Yes, garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic. However, keep in mind that the flavor will be milder, so adjust the quantity accordingly.

4. How can I remove the garlic smell from my hands?
Rubbing your hands with stainless steel, such as a spoon or stainless steel soap, can help neutralize and remove the garlic odor.

5. Can I eat raw garlic?
Yes, raw garlic can be eaten and provides additional health benefits. However, be aware that the flavor is much stronger when consumed raw.

6. How can I prevent garlic from sprouting?
Store garlic bulbs in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator, as the moisture can cause sprouting.

7. Can I use garlic in desserts?
While not common, garlic can be used in certain dessert recipes. It pairs well with chocolate and can add a unique twist to ice creams or baked goods.

8. Can I use garlic leaves in cooking?
Yes, garlic leaves, also known as garlic scapes, can be used in cooking. They have a milder flavor and can be added to stir-fries, soups, or used as a garnish.

9. Can I use green garlic?
Green garlic, which is young garlic before it forms bulbs, can be used as a substitute for mature garlic. It has a milder flavor and can be used raw or cooked.

10. Can I grow garlic from store-bought cloves?
Yes, you can grow garlic from store-bought cloves. Plant individual cloves in well-drained soil, pointy end up, and wait for them to grow into full bulbs.

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11. Can I use garlic in smoothies?
While not a common ingredient in smoothies, garlic can be added in small amounts to provide a unique flavor twist. Experiment with caution to avoid overpowering other flavors.

12. Can I use black garlic?
Black garlic is a fermented version of garlic, known for its sweet and savory taste. It can be used in various dishes, such as sauces, marinades, or even as a unique topping for pizzas or burgers.

In conclusion, having an abundance of garlic opens up a world of culinary possibilities. From infusing oils and vinegars to making pastes, butters, and rubs, there are numerous ways to put your surplus garlic to good use. Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore the rich flavors and health benefits that garlic has to offer.