Bulb that can light up your cooking

Garlic is one of the most useful ingredients in the kitchen.

 

VANESSA’S WAY: LINGUINE WITH GARLIC AND HAZELNUT CRUMBLE

Having a soothing garlicy pasta recipe which you can make in your sleep is a godsend in a hectic schedule. If you’re a cook who tends to have the bedrock fresh ingredients – namely, garlic, lemon, parsley – in your kitchen to start with, this pasta dish would sit nicely in a meal rotation.

Invest in a good extra virgin olive oil (I use La Collina) and a block of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano (or even Cáis na Tíre, an Irish sheep’s cheese with a subtle sweetness and the same crystalline crunch as Parmesan).

The number of garlic cloves you add is really your choice. The more you chop garlic, the stronger the flavour, which is why I always mince mine using a levering motion while pressing the back of a knife.

There are mere seconds between burnt garlic and undercooked garlic, which are both blasphemy to garlic lovers, so cook it gently.

GARY’S WAY: GARLIC AND TARRAGON ROSTI WITH SALMON AND GARLIC CREAM SAUCE

When I was growing up in Ramelton, Co Donegal, our uncle Sonny used to visit all the time. It was always an exciting day when we knew he was visiting as he always had a feed of sweets with him.

On one occasion though, he ruined it by boiling garlic and milk as a flu remedy. I still remember the smell almost making me sick. He’d turned me off garlic before I had the chance to appreciate it.

Thankfully, I got over it pretty quickly at the beginning of my career as I soon came to realise that there’s arguably no other ingredient as important to the flavour foundation of so many dishes. Stocks, sauces, soups and stews ... the list is endless.

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