To keep garlic fresh, store it in dark, dry,
cool place. Photo by Zsuzsanna Kilian | SXC.
Garlic powder is a pale substitute for fresh garlic. Some people use it because of the convenience: A jar of garlic powder is always on hand, whereas one can be out of fresh garlic—or worse, discover that the cloves have become dry, hard and unusable.
HOW TO STORE GARLIC
Garlic needs a cool, dry place, away from the light. Those ceramic garlic keepers with vent holes actually work. The vent holes enable proper air flow to keep the garlic cool and dry; glazed ceramic will not absorb moisture or odors; and the bulbs are protected from light.
For a quick fix, pop the garlic into a small brown paper bag or a cloth bag or pouch (we use a drawstring bag that originally held a gift item). If you don’t have a paper bag, create a makeshift pouch with a cloth napkin and an elastic band.
Keep fresh garlic out of the fridge. Garlic gets bitter when refrigerated.
What if the garlic sprouts? The shoots are delicious. Cut them off and use them in a salad, in scrambled eggs or as a garnish.
WHAT IF YOU HAVE TOO MUCH GARLIC?
Freeze It. Peel and slice the cloves in half and freeze them in a freezer-weight storage bag or other container. When you need garlic, just drop the frozen clove(s) into the pot or pan; the liquid ingredients will “defrost” it.
Dry It. Dry sliced garlic in a dehydrator and keep it in an airtight container in the pantry. The liquid in a recipe will reconstitute it. You also can grind your dried garlic into garlic powder that will taste much better than store-bought, which contains anti-caking agents and possibly other additives.
Chop or Purée It. Peel the cloves and chop or purée them. Acidify the peeled cloves in vinegar in the refrigerator for a day; then pour the vinegar off and use it for a salad dressing. Place the garlic in an airtight jar and cover with a small layer of olive oil, which further preserves the garlic by keeping air away. Or, you can store either in the freezer without the olive oil.
Make Pickled Garlic. It’s delicious in salads, relish trays, with sandwiches, as a garnish, with cocktails, on pizza, in pasta and more. Here’s a recipe.
Have garlic tips to add to this list? Let us know!