A favorite application of garlic is as an oil. Wonderful when mixed with sauces and sautéed vegetables, garlic oil has a rich garlic-y flavor that lacks the sharpness of raw garlic or the bitterness of overcooked garlic. The soft cloves take on a luscious quality, making them a fine addition to caramelized onions.
When it comes to garlic, storage and preparation is especially important. Raw garlic should always be stored in a dark place with good air circulation. The root in the center of each clove grows and becomes bitter as the garlic ages, so it is particularly important in raw applications to remove the root beforehand.
Make more than needed, as they store wonderfully when refrigerated for a month or more.
15-20 cloves of garlic, peeled (and roots removed if desired).
To peel the garlic, I hit the cloves gently with the smooth side of a meat mallet which loosens the peel allowing me to easily remove it. I find using the side of a chef’s knife and banging it with the meaty part of my palm (how the experts do it) gets old after a few cloves as my hand gets a bit sore.
Place peeled garlic in a small saucepan. Add olive oil to cover. Cook slowly over low heat until garlic is fork tender (~10-15 minutes). Watch carefully, as overcooked garlic becomes bitter. Store in covered jar in the refrigerator.