Gotta love garlic

PCC Taste | February 2014

Potent enough to keep vampires at bay (or so they say), garlic indeed is a superstar ingredient that adds depth to most things savory, be it a main dish, side or sauce. In addition to its pungent, peppery flavor, garlic can help combat cold and flu, aid digestion and improve circulation.

Select it:

Choose plump, firm heads with tight cloves. Bulbs with loose, dry, papery skin are likely old. A green shoot on the inside of a clove signals the garlic is sprouting. It's still OK to use the clove but remove the green stem before cooking as it can be bitter.

Use it:

Two large cloves equal about one tablespoon finely chopped garlic. For quick-cooking dishes, finely mince or thinly slice garlic to get the most flavor. If preparing longer-cooking dishes such as stew, roughly chop the garlic so its flavor slowly melds with the other ingredients. Roasting garlic mellows out the flavor — sugars are released and a rich, caramel flavor develops. To roast, slice off the top of the head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap it in foil and bake at 350° F for about 40 minutes. Once the bulb has cooled, squeeze the head at the base to pop out the roasted cloves. You’ll also find roasted garlic cloves ready to go in the PCC Deli, perfect for when you’re short on time.

Store it:

Keep garlic in a cool, dry place. Do not store it in a plastic bag or in the refrigerator.

More about: cooking tips, mushrooms, produce

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