I’ve known about black garlic for a few years, but we only met this past weekend — and I might just be in love.
Since I’m a chef and feel I should know these things, it is with some embarrassment that I admit to you, that I thought black garlic was another garlic variety that simply was black. (Okay, this is not quite as embarrassing as when I was a kid and asked my dad if Pasadena was in China — but that’s a whole other story, and clearly not relevant!)
So what exactly is black garlic? (So cool, for one thing!)
Black Garlic is common garlic that is aged for about a month, as it’s fermented under high heat. This special process transforms the garlic into a very dark brownish-black color. It also creates a soft texture and sweet taste while it removes the strong smell and sharpness. Imagine a molasses-like richness with tangy garlic undertones. With the consistency of roasted garlic, it almost tastes like creamy, mild balsamic vinegar.
In my research, it seems most recipes with black garlic don’t use quite as much as I did. That said, with such a delicious not-too-strong flavor, I think it should really be highlighted as the star ingredient. I just love it!
You might find black garlic in the specialty section of the produce department at your market. And if you can’t find it, and want to see what it’s all about, you can order it from Melissa’s Produce, here.
Oh, and you can always add roasted chicken and a handful or two of spinach to this recipe, for an even heartier meal. Yum.
- 1 pound dry Pappardelle pasta
- Olive oil for the pasta and the pan (about 3 tablespoons total)
- ¾ cup thinly sliced shallots (about 5 small to medium-sized shallots
- ½ cup black garlic cloves (about 2 heads)
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until it's aldente. (Aldente means "to the tooth." The pasta should be tender, but with a bite to it.) Drain the pasta, toss with a bit of olive oil, cover and set aside.
- Coat the bottom of a medium to large sauté pan with olive oil, and place it over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until they are soft and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
- While the shallots are cooking, peel all the garlic and then roughly chop it, keeping it in relatively large chunks.
- Add the garlic and toss it with the shallots. Then add the wine, turn the heat to high, and let it reduce by about ⅓.
- Add the butter and swirl the pan around until it's melted into the wine.
- Season generously to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's how.)
- Add the cooked pasta to the pan and very gently, toss everything together. (If the pan isn't big enough, pour everything into a large bowl to mix it.)
- Season to taste again if necessary, and serve.
Melissa’s Produce sent me black garlic, as I was eager to try it. All opinions are my own.